In connection to the Volvo Ocean Race, one of the summer’s biggest events, a new collaboration has been initiated between RealStars and Taxi Gothenburg. This is a result of “Innovation Against Trafficking”, envisioning a trafficking free tourism industry in the eventful city of Gothenburg.
About 40 participants from the official tourism agency, “Västsvensk besöksnäring” has participated in meetings during the last year, in order to innovate how to counteract prostitution and sex trafficking through collaborations.
The vision is a trafficking free tourism industry in the eventful city of Gothenburg. Taxi Gothenburg and RealStars wants to, as a first step, highlight human trafficking and prostitution with a message on taxi cars. This message will take a stand against trafficking while also encouraging industries, the community and community leaders to be transparent and work pre-emptively. The initiative will commence during the Volvo Ocean Race.
– This is when the summer’s events begin and we look forward to the Volvo Ocean Race. At the same time, we know that the demand of several services increases before big events. Unfortunately, this is also true for the demand of illegal sexual services, says Malin Roux Johansson, the Executive Manager for RealStars.
Vinnova supports the initiative, and RealStars is the driving force behind it. RealStars are also collaborating with several hotels; Scandic, Hotel Flora, and Clarion Hotel Post amongst others, through the initiative “Hotels Against Trafficking”. Several other industries working with tourism have been engaged as well and the collaboration with taxi companies has been launched.
Purchase of sexual services and trafficking occurs in Sweden on a daily basis and is a part of modern slavery. It presents a challenge for the tourism industry and no organization can work alone.
– Regardless of what type of event attracts visitors and an audience, we know from experience that the demand for sexual services tends to increase, says Mats Paulsson, Inspector with the police’s human trafficking section in Gothenburg.
A model for how various agents can collaborate and partner in the western areas of Sweden is now starting to take shape and will form a basis for a more comprehensive initiative.
– For us, it goes without saying that we want to contribute to the efforts to counteract trafficking. This is an issue we have been addressing for a long time, and we are looking forward to work with RealStars and the tourism industry in order to together find new ways of counteracting trafficking, says Martin Lund, Operations Manager Taxi Gothenburg.
RealStars continues to develop collaborations with taxi companies and support other actors as the hotel industry in a similar manner.
– Our focus has almost solely been on reacting to suspicious incidents. We now want to give signals and tools to work pre-emptively and preventative, says Malin Roux Johansson.