Prohibiting Purchase of Sex in Sweden: Impact, Obstacles, Potential, and Supporting Escape
Michigan Journal of International Law , Vol. 33 (2011): 133-57
Women's Studies International Forum, Vol. 34, No. 5 (2011): 449-74
Stockholm University Department of Political Science Working Paper No. 2010:3
43 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2011 Last revised: 20 Jul 2012
Date Written: October 12, 2010
© Max Waltman 2010 This paper analyzes the core reasons for the Swedish law from 1999 which criminalizes purchase of sex and decriminalizes the prostituted person, passed as part of an omnibus bill against violence against women and recognizing prostitution as a form of it. Further, it documents the law’s impact by comparing data from several recent Swedish studies with the situation in other relevant countries, concluding the law has significantly reduced the occurrence of prostitution manifolds compared to its neighboring countries. Crucial obstacles to effective implementation are also addressed, particularly in current case law. Some of the critique against the law and disinformation about the law’s effects are also commented. Finally, to realize its full potential to support escape from prostitution more efficiently, it is argued that the civil rights of prostituted persons under current law should be strengthened to get damages paid for directly by the tricks/johns for the harm they have contributed to. An additional consideration is for individual states to extend the use of the Palermo Protocol (international law) to charge tricks for trafficking when they "receive" persons who are effectively pimped.
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Keywords: Prostitution, Trafficking, Purchase of Sex, Foreign Law, Sweden, Equality, Gender-Based Violence, Swedish Law Against Prostitution
JEL Classification: I10, I18, I3, I38, Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation