15 July 2010

Reporting on the report

Earlier this month an evaluation of the Swedish Sex Purchase Law, a law making the purchase of sex illegal, was distributed. For the last decade Sweden has earned the reputation as a model country in the fight against prostitution and sex trafficking, which I believe could be true, but how well is the law actually working?

Lina Nealon says the law takes into account the fact that a woman who sells sex has often reached this decision because “society has failed her and left her with no other choices.

In 1999, Sweden passed the Sex Purchase Law, which criminalized the purchase of sex but decriminalized the sale of sex. The Swedes conceive of prostitution and the sale of sex as inherently harmful to women because of power imbalances that exist between buyer and seller.

Children in elementary schools are taught gender equality, dignity, and healthy relationships and learn to regard the purchase of another human being as unacceptable.

Sweden has seen a 40 percent decrease in prostitution over the past five years, and a fundamental cultural shift in the way Swedish men regard the purchase of sex - not to mention the by product of virtually eliminating sex trafficking within the country.

Traffickers tend to regard countries where prostitution and demand for sex is illegal as less profitable markets, but critics say the law forces prostitutes to work in even more dangerous places exposing them to greater risk.

According to the report, street prostitution has been cut in half, but it also mentions problems with prostitution that are harder to assess and limit - prostitution where contact is made through the Internet.

Although nothing shows an increase in this method, there has also been no sign of a decrease. For the western world this may be the most effective way to connect a prostitution with clients.

Is the law working?
Yes and no

Swedish public radio reported that out of the 650 people who so far had been sentenced under the anti-prostitution law, none had been sent to prison.

Sex Purchase Law | Report