Prostitution in Sweden

Prostitution in Sweden

In 1999, Sweden passed a law which prohibits the purchase of sex but not the selling of sex. The sellers of sex are helped to transition from prostitution. With education and enforcement, the law acts as a deterrent to the buyers of sex. This law has become known as the Swedish or Nordic Model, and has been adopted by a growing number of countries including Norway, Iceland, France, and Ireland. Canada adopted the Nordic Model in 2014, but both enforcement and transitioning efforts have been minimal.

The Swedish Ministry of Justice published a report in 2010 which stated that by addressing the demand for sex, the law is a barrier against organized crime, traffickers, and pimps in Sweden. By reducing the demand for the purchase of sex, the law has discouraged criminal networks from investing on its territory. The number of persons exploited in street prostitution had halved since 1999 with no increase in "hidden" prostitution.

Prior to the enactment of the law, the majority of Swedes were against prohibiting the purchase of sex. But 10 years later, 70% fully support it, especially youth. It has become socially unacceptable to buy sex.

Source Document: 18 Myths on Prostitution by the European Women's Lobby

[Version française]

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