IN ORDER TO TACKLE the problems connected to the sex trade many countries are now turning to what is know as the “Nordic Model” on prostitution, which criminalises the purchase of sex, targeting law enforcement measures at sex buyers. The legislation has been very successful in the countries where it has been adopted – leading to a reduced demand for sexual services and thereby becoming a powerful tool in combating sex trafficking – and in 2014 The Council of Europe recommended all member states to adopt the Nordic approach on prostitution after having conducted an extensive report on the effects of this approach as opposed to legalization.
IN 1999, SWEDEN BECAME the first country to adopt the Nordic Model which soon led to street prostitution being reduced to half due to the sudden drop in demand. Another positive effect was that social attitudes towards purchasing sex shifted and today the majority of the Swedish population, especially young people, support the ban. The law is said to have made a clear statement about respect for women and gender equality – women are not commodities to be sold or bought – and was part of a bill on violence against women.
SCANDINAVIAN HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYERS work to promote the Nordic Model as an effective tool to combat human trafficking and sexual violence against women.