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Evaluation of Swedish Law on Prostitution

On 1 January 1999, Sweden became the first country in the world to introduce legislation criminalising the purchase, but not the sale, of sexual services. This report, which has an English summary, evaluates the application of the ban on the purchase of sexual services and the effects that prohibition has had.

The researchers have investigated how the provision has worked in practice and what effects the ban has had on the prevalence of prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes in Sweden.

  • Since the introduction of the ban on the purchase of sexual services, street prostitution in Sweden has been halved.
  • The prevalence of street prostitution was about the same in the three capital cities of Norway, Denmark and Sweden before the ban on the purchase of sexual services was introduced in Sweden. In 2008, the number of people in street prostitution in both Norway and Denmark was estimated to be three times higher than in Sweden.
  • More than 70 per cent of those polled in three surveys took a positive view of the ban.
  • The authors conclude that that the ban on the purchase of sexual services has had the intended effect and is an important instrument in preventing and combating prostitution.

 

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Utredningen sexköpslagen final report 100702.pdf
Added: February 5, 2015
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