Trafficking is a multi-billion dollar business globally. The solution has to focus on mitigating, or curbing, the business model. To stop the demand is the most effective way. The decision to focus on the demand was based on the consensus of gender equality and a human rights perspective. Sweden’s policy is very clear, that prostitution can never be regarded as a legitimate profession because it is always exploitation. In this sense the extent of the consent to provide prostitution is deemed secondary to the understanding that the transaction involves exploitation at some level. Trafficking is therefore an extension of human exploitation at every level. It is crucial to change the mindset of purchasers and purveyors of commercial sex.
Lena Walther opened the Consulate in Nevada 2006. She began her career with the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1976 and had assignments in Bangkok, Laos and South-Korea.
Upon moving to the US, she worked for the International Monetary Fund. After becoming an American citizen, she continued foreign assignments with the US Embassies in Madrid, Vienna and Paris. She has lived in 10 countries and speaks seven languages. She moved to Las Vegas in 1997 and has been an entrepreneur since then. In 2014, she co-founded a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, Awareness Is Prevention (AIP), which brings awareness to the sex trafficking of minors. AIP conducts targeted training programs for Law Enforcement agencies, the Clark County School District, private schools, NGO’s and other organizations. A new program “Awareness through the Arts,” offering competitions for vulnerable youth, is being introduced in 2019.
This presentation was given at the 2019 Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Global Summit: EndExploitationSummit.com