Tons of thoughts and reflections when RealStars visit schools

“I’m angry that this is the way it is. That people think that just because they have money, they have the right to buy another person’s body. It’s not ok.”

This is a common comment speakers at RealStars get when we give seminars on human trafficking, and its opposite – Fair Sex, in schools. We often meet big eyes and a lot of questions. How can this be? How can it be allowed to continue, and why we do not hear more about this in the media and elsewhere. “These are important issues, but something we never talk about. While it is about people who are used daily by others and feel sick!”, says a student.

RealStars has lectured at many different schools and we usually get very good – mainly positive – feedback from the students we talk to. They often get engaged in the issues we highlight, and thank us for raising these important issues and for giving them the opportunity to reflect and discuss how and why this organized crime and violence are structural and tragically increases. The question is what consequences it has on us as individuals, group and society.

Sometimes we meet people of other opinions. About a week ago a student said “well, it is ok as long as those who sell their bodies get money for it”, and “as long as there are those who wish to buy and sell a body for other’s exploitation”. The student felt that a body is like any other commodity, and that there is no difference between prostitution and other physical work, that demand should steer the market and that the issue at hand was unproblematic.

In the same class, we were faced with resignation and a shared feeling that individuals have limited power to fight injustices and create change. Other students highlighted different values such as religion, which in some cases trespass market logics that is not based on respect for privacy, human dignity and human rights.

“We talk about it now, but after you have gone, we will not talk about it again. This is how it always has been, so what difference does it make?” said some students. RealStars find the issue of Fair Sex to be very important to highlight, but these young people found that little was being made to improve problems like this. Many do not have trust in those in power, and don’t believe they are willing to create change for a better society, a society where everyone is respected. Different opinions and perspectives surround us, and the way forward is to take time to listen, and to jointly discuss the boundaries and what we can do to create a better world.

It is incredibly important that organizations such as RealStars exists to create change through lectures and seminars in schools to raise awareness of these issues. It is so important to work together long-term and in depth with these issues. Together we can make a difference.