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Prohibiting Purchase of Sex in Sweden: Impact, Obstacles, Potential, and Supporting Escape
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2010 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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 acknowledging connections between prostitution and sex trafficking) to charge tricks for trafficking when they “receive” persons who are effectively pimped.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Political Science, Stockholm University , 2010. , 42 p.
Working papers (Department of Political Science, Stockholm University), ISSN 1650-8637 ; 2010_3
Keyword [en]
Prostitution, Trafficking, Purchase of Sex, Gender-Based Violence, Sex Equality, Gender Equality, Legal Challenges to Prostitution, Swedish Prostitution Law, Palermo Protocol
Keyword [sv]
Prostitution, Människohandel, sexköp, köp av sex, köp av sexuell tjänst, jämställdhet, könsbaserat våld, mäns våld mot kvinnor, sexuellt våld, rättsliga utmaningar mot prostitution, Sveriges prostitutionslagstiftning
National Category
History Law (excluding Law and Society) Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies) Law (excluding Law and Society) Gender Studies Law and Society Law and Society
Research subject
Political Science; statskunskap; Legal History; Legal Science; Criminal Law; Criminology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61996OAI: diva2:439272
THIS PAPER HAS BEEN REVISED, UPDATED, SUBJECTED TO PEER-REVIEW PROCESS, AND SUBSEQUENTLY PUBLISHED IN PART IN WOMEN'S STUDIES INTERNATIONAL FORUM34, no. 5 (2011): 449–74 (entitled "Sweden’s Prohibition of Purchase of Sex: The Law’s Reasons, Impact, and Potential").Available from: 2011-09-09 Created: 2011-09-07 Last updated: 2011-09-09Bibliographically approved

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