There is a connection between sex trafficking and prostitution, so when you legalize the sex trade, prostitution becomes a catalyst for more sex trafficking. If we are serious about abolishing sex slavery, then we must put an end to legalized prostitution.
Sweden’s Unique Approach
With much of Europe having legalized prostitution, Sweden took a different approach—even different than that of the United States—and has gained great dividends in their fight against the exploitation of women.
“In just five years Sweden has dramatically reduced the number of its women in prostitution. In the capital city of Stockholm the number of women in street prostitution has been reduced by two thirds, and the number of johns has been reduced by 80%. There are other major Swedish cities where street prostitution has all but disappeared.”
These numbers are incredible!
What I appreciate so much with Sweden’s approach is how they’ve approached the problem. In most of the United States, for example, it is illegal to sell yourself for sex—prostitution is illegal. The fundamental difference Sweden has made, is making the buying of sex illegal and decriminalizing the selling of sex. Here’s how the government frames it:
“In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem… gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them.”
Incredible! I love it! They have made a conscience decision to put forth a cultural shift in their perspective of prostitution. A more accurate perspective, too, as it doesn’t take very long to study prostitution statistics to realize that it really is an exploitation of women.
But Sweden didn’t stop there. They are also working at helping those who have been caught under the weight of prostitution:
“…An essential element of Sweden’s prostitution legislation provides for ample and comprehensive social service funds aimed at helping any prostitute who wants to get out, and additional funds to educate the public.” And “the mostly female prostitutes are treated as victims who need help, and the public is educated in order to counteract the historical male bias that has long stultified thinking on prostitution.”
A Huge Contrast
With 80% of Swedes in favor of this revolutionary and common sense approach, their success speaks volumes in contrast where prostitution is legalized or regulated. According to a University of London study, legalized and/or regulated prostitution led to:
- A dramatic increase in all facets of the sex industry,
- A dramatic increase in the involvement of organized crime in the sex industry,
- A dramatic increase in child prostitution,
- An explosion in the number of foreign women and girls trafficked into the region, and
- Indications of an increase in violence against women.
Meanwhile in the Netherlands—79% of legal prostitutes want to get out of the sex business.
Is that really a suprise?
The writing is on the wall. The research supports it. The results of Sweden’s new approach has come into fruition.
The question is: Will a male dominated world follow Sweden’s lead?