So… let’s have a look on Swedish law in practice

September 18th, 2013 2:43 pm

Hey everyone!

Today I would like send you an interesting article about how Sweden deals with human trafficking.

I will quote the most interesting information (for me), but I encourage you to read full article.

“I am sitting in the back of an unmarked police car on the small island of Skeppsholmen, to the east of Stockholm’s picturesque old town. Above us is the city’s modern art museum but it’s a dark February night and we’re not here to appreciate culture. “They park up there,” says the detective in the front passenger seat, pointing to a car park at the top of the hill. “We wait a few minutes and then we leap out, run up the hill and pull open the doors.”

What happens next is a textbook example of the way Sweden’s law banning the purchase of sex works in practice. The driver of the car, who’s brought a prostituted woman to the island to have sex, is arrested on the spot. He’s given a choice: admit the offence and pay a fine, based on income, or go to court and risk publicity. The woman, who hasn’t broken any law, is offered help from social services if she wants to leave prostitution. Otherwise, she’s allowed to go.

These days he’s one of its most enthusiastic supporters, having seen for himself how the number of women in street prostitution in Stockholm has declined. Where 70 or 80 women used to sell sex outdoors, these days it’s between five and 10 in winter, 25 in summer. A small number of women work on the streets of Malmö and Gothenburg but the Swedish figures are nothing like those for Denmark, where prostitution has been decriminalised. Denmark has just over half the population of Sweden but one study suggested there were more than 1,400 women selling sex on Danish streets.

“Swedish men want oral sex and intercourse, nothing more than that,” the undercover cop tells me. “They know they have to behave or they may be arrested. They don’t want to use violence.”

“Pimps have to advertise.” Specialist officers have been trained to monitor the internet and the police also have access to telephone intercepts, which suggest that traffickers no longer regard Sweden as a worthwhile market. “We’ve had wiretapping cases where pimps say they don’t find Sweden attractive,” Haggstrom continues. “Even if they don’t get arrested, we arrest the clients. They’re in it for the money. For me, this is not an advanced equation to understand.”

In the police car, something happens which reveals the full extent of the philosophical shift that has affected men and women in Sweden. In a brightly lit street, Haggstrom points out a couple of Romanian women who work as prostitutes. As I think about them making the journey over the bridge with a total stranger to the desolate car park on Skeppsholmen, Haggstrom turns to me. “Having sex is not a human right,” he says quietly.”

(the source once again)

 

Agnieszka Amelia Lisiecka is a member of the “Invisible Slavery: Human Trafficking in Europe” conference preparatory committee 

 

“Invisible Slavery: Human Trafficking in Europe” conference was sponsored by European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.

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