Central to the debate around human trafficking, which is occurring in every western country, is the question of how law should treat prostitution.
Today the majority in Norway’s leading party voted to enact the Swedish model of law on prostitution that was passed in Sweden in 1998. The Swedish law states that it is only illegal to buy prostitution, not to sell. Pimps and traffickers can be held accountable, but the woman or direct provider of sexual services is never (on such a basis) a criminal by law.
Countries in Europe where prostitution is illegal, aggressive enforcement of anti-prostitution and deportation laws have been clouded by trafficking and immigration policies. Therefore, these countries–wishing to maintain public condemnation and the penal threat related to prostitution (and illegal stays), while protecting and serving the women, or direct providers of sexual services–are looking to the Swedish model.
As stated in a previous blog entry (“Permit to stay…”), Norway may also very well be on its way to enacting its own version of Italy’s Article 18, in order to implement an exit strategy for prostitutes and trafficking victims.
This prospect may be encouraging, while in general I am hearing less discussion about the societal consequences than seems appropriate, given perceivable implications of the punitive-based response to social problems.
Posted By Anya Gorovets (Italy)
Posted Jun 13th, 2006