Thoughts from a volunteer

Can you remember when you first found out about the problem with sex trafficking around the world? Was it perhaps on Facebook, through an acquaintance or even in the news? Or was it through an organisation online which actively works with the topic, or maybe through personal experience? The chances are that you still don’t know how big an issue sex trafficking actually is.

Quite a few turn to organisations like RFSU (Riksförbundet för Sexuell Upplysning; the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education) or UMO (ungdomsmottagningen; a youth hotline). These are among the biggest organisations in Sweden working with sexual education and health. You can find a huge amount of extremely good and useful information on their respective websites. But there isn’t much information relating to sex trafficking. Almost none in some cases. There is a lot of faith in RFSU and UMO and they are often the first point of contact for young people but also for adults, who perhaps don’t get the support they need from the family or friends on questions regarding sexuality, health or mental problems. Among the information should also be material on sex trafficking, as it can be linked to many other questions addressed on the websites and is a significant problem which urgently needs dealing with. It is important that this kind of information is available on the organisations’ websites, because in some cases it may be the only tool for individuals to gain knowledge and raise awareness about these questions.

I myself first heard about sex trafficking in detail from a close friend who knows a lot about the topic. They described to me what a big problem it actually is worldwide, and were particularly worried about Europe. My friend strongly felt that we need to actively get involved to try to put an end to the problem. Not everyone has such a friend or relative who can talk about what an enormous problem sex trafficking is. What is occasionally covered in the news is usually not enough either, because it doesn’t give a comprehensive picture of what actually goes on. The problem is simply reported way too rarely. This is exactly why more news sites, blogs and not least the organisations dedicated to sexual education need to publish more information about the topic. It is through awareness-raising and information-sharing that more people find out about the issue and even get the opportunity to get involved in tackling the problem. More information on sex trafficking must be made available in order to engage more people.