The Ship Brothel in Almedalen is a Realstars campaign

Rumors about the German ship brothel ”Lust Yacht” have circulated during the Almedalen week. The fictitious concerns that a ship brothel has anchored off Visby’s harbor was a campaign made by Realstars to create awareness of how widespread the European sex industry really is. The campaign builds on Järfälla Tjejjour’s ”Almedalsbordellen” 2010 and is a call for decision-makers and the public to intensify the work against trafficking and to make the Swedish Sex Trade Law stricter so it also covers Swedes traveling abroad.

There has sadly been a lack of focus on sex trade and trafficking from politicians at Almedalen this election year. By having two seminars with the theme trafficking, handing out flyers and talking to many visitors, the Realstars campaign has put focus on human rights violations that happen in Europe. Many people we talked to have shown concern and learned of the message and the importance of making the laws stricter. Through the campaign we wanted to indicate how horrifying and absurd it really is that the sex trade industry is so widespread in Europe – especially in countries like the Netherlands and Germany where sex slaves are sold at legal, tax-funded brothels. It only takes an hour trip for us Swedes to, with complete legality, pay for sex.

So basically, the visitors at Almedalen could be ferried to and from a ship brothel and pay for sex, protected by international waters where they are no longer in danger of breaking the Swedish Sex Trade Law. The authorities have confirmed this.

– Legally, there is nothing we can do. We also will not travel to the ship to find out what’s going on. Any possible information regarding trafficking would in this case need to come from someone who’s visited the ship, says Jonas Trolle at Stockholm County Police Department.

Europe is the continent with the most sex slaves per capita in the world and the industry is increasing. The demand for prostitutes is the single biggest cause of trafficking even existing. The fact that more countries are on their way to introduce a sex trade law similar to the Swedish one, France being one of such countries, is a step in the right direction. Also in the Honeyball-resolution, the EU-parliament determined that the most effective way of counteracting trafficking is the Swedish model which punishes the buyer and not the seller. At the same time there is a wave of prostitution advocates, and too few countries take proper measures to reduce the demand and put focus on the buyer in order to stop trafficking.

We can change and endorse all efforts dedicated to creating a Europe free from trafficking. Sign the demand for a sex trade law in EU.

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