• Sweden edition
 
Swedes enlist Canadian's novel in sex slavery fight

Swedes enlist Canadian's novel in sex slavery fight

Published: 17 Oct 2012 14:44 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Oct 2012 14:44 GMT+02:00

When Canadian author Réal Laplaine saw photos of a six-year-old girl in Calcutta taking care of her one-year-old brother, he was shocked.

The result was a novel, "See Me Not", which tells the fictional story of a 12-year-old girl sold into sexual slavery at the age of eight. An American student's chance meeting with the girl prompts him to try to save her.

Having recently moved to Gothenburg, western Sweden, Laplaine was put in touch with a Swedish pressure group, Real Stars, which uses art to help raise awareness about sex trafficking.

Laplaine found himself drawn to Real Stars' ongoing "Fair Sex" campaign for a “trafficking-free Europe”.

According to the group, "Fair Sex" is defined as “sex on equal terms and with mutual respect in all situations". The group adds: "sex trafficking is the opposite of fair sex."

Laplaine explains:

“One of the reasons I hooked up with Real Stars is because of their work within the EU,” the author tells The Local.

According to Laplaine, the market for sex trafficking "runs in the billions of dollars", with countries in central and eastern Europe playing an increasingly prominent role.

Malin Roux, who helped found Real Stars in 2010, explains part of the reason for the recent boom in trafficking in Europe:

“After the fall of the Berlin Wall the growth in trafficking of girls from eastern countries has been enormous," she says.

"Europe has the highest level of sex slaves per capita in the world."

According to statistics from the European Union, there was a nearly 10-percent increase in the number of registered trafficking victims sold for sexual exploitation between 2008 and 2010.

“If more European countries established laws against the sex trade, sex trafficking would plummet all over the continent," Roux explains.

"Imagine all the positive effects such an event would cause, for society and individuals alike.”

And with the EU's fifth annual Anti-Trafficking Day taking place on Thursday, Real Stars enlisted Laplaine to participate in an event at Stockholm’s Modern Art Museum (Moderna Muséet) to raise awareness in Sweden of the issue.

“We organized the Anti-Trafficking Day event because we think the issue does not receive enough attention," Roux tells The Local.

Laplaine's book will feature prominently at the event in the hope of reaching a larger audience.

According to Roux, "hope and positivity" are key words at the event.

To successfully combat sex trafficking, she explains, people must believe it's possible to bring traffickers to justice.

“We want to see different parts of society come together, to share and exchange ideas,” she says.

Roux hopes visitors leave thinking: “OK, I can do something about this.”

By attending, Laplaine hopes to promote "See Me Not" while at the same time boosting support for Real Stars.

Laplaine has agreed to donate part of the proceeds from the book to the group and hopes the partnership continues.

“I would like the book sales to go into the millions,” Laplaine says with a smile.

“If I can manage to sell a lot of books that will really help Real Stars’ campaign."

Sanne Schim van der Loeff

Follow The Local on Twitter

Related links:

Your comments about this article

02:43 October 29, 2012 by jimfromcanada
Good work Mr Laplaine
Today's headlines
Stockholm 'Russian sub' alert
Search for foreign vessel continues off Stockholm
Minehunter HMS Koster takes part in the search in the Stockholm archipelago on Sunday. Photo: Marko Säävälä/TT

Search for foreign vessel continues off Stockholm

Sweden's armed forces were continuing to search for the cause of apparent "foreign underwater activity" in the Stockholm Archipelago on Monday. But the military denied news agency reports that they had imposed an exclusion zone. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden hit by two Ebola false alarms in two days
The Uppsala University Hospital. Photo: TT

Sweden hit by two Ebola false alarms in two days

UPDATED: A patient has been cleared of any Ebola suspicions at the Uppsala University Hospital. It marks the second suspected case in Sweden in two days. READ  

Perspective: ‘Russian sub’ alert
Why a foreign vessel lurks in Swedish waters
The HMS Stockholm patrols Jungfrufjärden in the Stockholm archipelago on Monday morning. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Why a foreign vessel lurks in Swedish waters

With Sweden engaged in its biggest domestic military operation since the Cold War, The Local spoke to Johan Wiktorin, a fellow at the Swedish Royal Academy of War Sciences, to get insight into what’s going on in the Stockholm archipelago. READ  

My Swedish Career
US woman starts up Swedish toy store online
Leigh Neil and a llama hand puppet. Photo: Private

US woman starts up Swedish toy store online

For this week's My Swedish Career we meet Leigh Neil, who one day came to realize that there was a gap in the Swedish market for children's toys and decided to do something about it. READ  

Stockholm 'Russian sub' alert
No truth to Russia's submarine claim: Dutch
A CB90-class fast assault craft at Kullbäling, a small island in Stockholm's archipelago. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

No truth to Russia's submarine claim: Dutch

The Netherlands on Monday denied a Russian claim that a mystery vessel the Swedish military has been looking for could be Dutch. READ  

Lufthansa Strike
Over 20 Swedish flights hit by Lufthansa strike
Grounded Lufthansa planes. Photo: TT

Over 20 Swedish flights hit by Lufthansa strike

A strike by pilots at German airline Lufthansa will affect over 20 flights in and out of Sweden over the next two days. READ  

National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Photo: Shutterstock

Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars

A dentist in western Sweden is offering free dental care to his town's Roma begging population. READ  

Business & Money
Electrolux profit soars after cost-cutting efforts
Photo: TT

Electrolux profit soars after cost-cutting efforts

Swedish electrical appliance maker Electrolux reported its third-quarter net profit soared 42 percent to 933 million kronor ($130 million) thanks to a cost-cutting programme started at the end of last year. READ  

National
School photographer fired for homophobic slur
Photo credit: Shutterstock

School photographer fired for homophobic slur

A photographer at a high school in southern Sweden was sacked after he called one of the students a "fag" during a shoot. READ  

Ebola crisis
Patient in isolation after airport Ebola alert

Patient in isolation after airport Ebola alert

A male passenger who landed at Stockholm's Arlanda airport has been transferred to an isolation unit amid fears he may be suffering from the Ebola virus. But a specialist was keen to play down concerns. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
National
Sweden deploys troops over underwater threat
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Blog updates

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 

17 October

Editor’s Blog, Oct 17th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Here’s the whole week of news in just 60 seconds. The most-read story was about a..." READ »

 
 
 
National
A Touch of Scandinavia: Reindeer in the kitchen
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Lifestyle
Sweden's The Bridge to become 'more Danish'
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
National
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' protection
Society
Interview with Geena Davis: 'I want to be in a Swedish movie'
Gallery
Stefan Löfven through the years
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

984
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN