Prostitution in Sweden

Prostitution in Sweden is technically illegal, since it is a crime to purchase the service. Sweden considers prostitution a form of violence against women so the crime does not lie in the prostitute selling sexual services, but in the customer's buying of such services.

In 1907 prostitution was legalized; in 1999 the act of buying the service was criminalized.

Sweden is one of few countries in the world to have criminalized only the buying of sexual acts. The reason is the Swedish government's adaptation of the theory of gender roles with a male ruling class, with the notion that the clients of prostitutes exploit the prostitutes. The law is gender neutral, however. The gender of the seller and the gender of the buyer is not factor in the law, making it equally forbidden to buy sexual services from male prostitutes as from female prostitutes and regardless of the gender of the buyer.

The law was put in effect on 1 January, 1999 and inserted into the Criminal code on 1 April, 2005. The penalty is fine or prison of maximum of six months. So far, the law has led to about 500 convictions, but nobody has yet been sentenced to prison.

Some commentators have also questioned Sweden's commitment to protecting prostitutes and the victims of human-trafficking after Sweden made a diplomatic complaint against Germany regarding Germany's encouraging of the use of legalized prostitutes during the 2006 World Cup. Germany had expressly taken these steps, both encouraging legal prostitution during the World Cup, and the legalization of prostitution in general, to counter the abuse of prostitutes, who still operate entirely in the black market in Sweden.Soccer World Cup Anti-Prostitution Campaign Kicks Off | World Cup 2006 | Deutsche Welle | 23.02.2006

Rights campaigners for prostitutes have condemned the Swedish government's approach to the issue of prostitution as demeaning and objectifying to the women involved, as they do not feel the state treats them as individuals with needs and wants but rather representations of their sex, according to SANS, a union for Swedish sex-workers.Lies about sexwork in Sweden

See also

External links

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