Parul Sharma, Human Rights lawyer and principle at the Academy for Human Rights in Business has extensive experience of CSR-issues in Sweden and abroad. Parul is now a RealStars ambassador and a member of the organizations advisory board. Here she answers our questions on human trade and societal challenges.
1. What would you do to make the world a better place?
I am convinced that we have to direct more knowledge on pre-emptive measures towards youths today. An ambition to work towards change aimed at youths will yield a return and we will see an improvement. Youths are exemplary good at acquiring information, even if it is hefty and readily asks direct questions such as “what can I do?” and “what are you doing?”. We need straightforwardness and youthful courage regarding issues such as trafficking and other violations of human rights to make the world fairer.
2. What are the societal challenges we need to overcome to address trafficking and other expressions of unfair sex (various forms of abuse)?
We need more channels in order to spread knowledge about the second largest criminal activity in the world. Today out-dated legislation is a challenge. Sweden’s legal ban on the purchase of sexual services should be dispersed to other countries but modernized and applicable abroad, i.e. extraterritorial legislation applicable when Swedish citizens purchase sexual services abroad. In Sweden, we tend to perceive the issue of trafficking as a non-Swedish problem; this attitude is according to me our biggest challenge. Knowledge is power and we need more channels that can openly present fact and knowledge so that no one can claim, “I didn’t know”.
3. What is needed for corporations to acknowledge their imperative role in counteracting trafficking and to address the issue as a part of their CSR-agenda?
Internal clarity is extraordinarily important, leadership decisions, policy, yearly training and forums where associates are able to ask difficult questions about trafficking, purchase of sexual services, strip clubs and similar. Owners and investors now have to demand this when following up on the corporations CSR-efforts.