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04-13-11, 11:08 PM #1
Swedish Minister of Justice explains why making it legal to sell sex but illegal to purchase sex worked for SwedenIn 1999 Sweden became the first country in the world to criminalize the purchase, but not the sale, of sexual services. Over the years the interest from abroad about our legislation has grown, mainly because we can see a clear link between prostitution and human trafficking.
Sweden has had a steady stream of visitors coming to study the Swedish example and the effects we have seen from it. We have welcomed parliamentarians and other politicians, experts and scholars and representatives from interest groups. Norway and Iceland, for example, now have their own criminalization of the purchase of sexual services. I am pleased that more countries are considering following the Swedish example.
The primary factor that maintains prostitution and human trafficking is the demand for these services, ie. that people buy sex. Efforts to counteract demand are therefore of fundamental importance.
The Swedish ban on the purchase of sexual services has recently been subject to an evaluation. According to the findings of the government-appointed evaluator, prostitution in Sweden has not increased since the introduction of the ban and street prostitution has been halved. Although the number of foreign women involved in prostitution in Sweden seems to have increased during the years, the increase is not as big as in neighboring countries.
The evaluator also concluded that prostitution where the first contact is made via the internet is more prevalent in our neighboring countries and that the Swedish ban has not caused street prostitution to move online.
Nor is there any information that suggests that prostitutes formerly exploited on the streets are now involved in indoor prostitution.
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