On the 8th of march we asked the question: ”Has your company taken a stand against the buying of sex?”

On the 8th of March we at RealStars were out and about in Stockholm and Gothenburg to ask questions that don´t sound like questions at all; ”Has your company taken a stand against the buying of sex? If not, why?”

In connection with International Women´s Day on March 8th RealStars started its long-term work to get more companies taking a stand against the purchasing of sex. Few companies have an express policy and companies have a lot to gain by putting the subject on the agenda. Before we got started we had printed an information sheet that we distributed at Gothenburg and Stockholm Central train stations and many other places where there are a lot of people, not least airports and big hotels.

RealStars had many interesting and thought-provoking conversations. “When I was on business trips in the 1980s clients often took us to strip clubs, it is not so obvioust now but it still happens. It´s good that you bring to people´s attention the comapanies´ responsibility.” We even noticed that the question made some people uncomfortable. The picture we got was that few companies had taken a stand against buying sex on business trips. Several cited the argument “no, it is not necessary in my company, I don´t think anyone buys sex.” It is nice to think well of each other but this is where it is about preventing the connection between the sex trade and trafficking given that the things that happen on business trips seldom come into the open. Companies ought to at least have a policy to improve the working environment wherd it is important to reduce assurances amongst those employees if one has not already taken a stand. In order to show where we stand RealStars had a debate article in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (Malin Roux Johanssona and Parul Sharma, Ambassador for RealStars).

We who work for RealStarts held lectures in four sixth form colleges in the morning. We discussed trafficking, prostitution, fair sex and our new campaign aimed at companies. Prostitution is a gender-related phenomenon in which the biggest proportion of prostituted peopl are women and under-aged girls whilst nearly all buyers are men. Prostitution is both a cause and a consequence of the lack of sex equality and equality in society and accentuates this lack. It is apparent that young people like to discuss questions of Fair Sex and cohabitation. Continually we get to hear during our school visits that students would like to have had better sex education.

We are also very happy and proud that we were able to distribute our campaign magazine in BRA´s lounge at Bromma airport. This campaign first and foremost aims at those who buy sex and an airport lounge is, of course, a good place to spread knowledge on the subject! RealStars thanks BRA for its co-operation! We also thank our hotel partners in Stockholm and Gothenburg, Clarion Hotel Post, Clarion Hotel Sign, and King Carl Hotel, as we got to visit the hotels with our magazine, which they placed in their lounges, hopefully grabbing the attention of the business travellers.

The 8th March was the beginning of our venture to pose this important question. “When will your company take a stand against buying sex?” We will continue publishing interviews throughout the year and if you want to help out with spreading information about the campaign or conducting an interview contact ottila@realstars.eu. If you wish to have lectures on companies´involvement in trafficking-related questions or help with a policy contact malin@realstars.eu