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Sweden's prostitution laws drawing foreign interest

Publish date: 18 March 2008
Issue Number: 2031
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: Legislation

Some countries are considering copying Sweden's laws on prostitution – which prosecutes the client but views the prostitute as an exploited victim.

Officials say the new approach – introduced nine years ago – has reduced the demand for prostitutes and reshaped attitudes toward the sex trade, according to The Independent. 'We don't have a problem with prostitutes. We have a problem with men who buy sex,' said Kajsa Wahlberg, of the human trafficking unit at Sweden's national police board. She said foreign law enforcement officials and politicians were coming to Sweden in droves to learn about its 1999 law. Last week Wahlberg was meeting police officials from the Netherlands, where prostitution is legal but where authorities have closed some brothels in a crackdown on organised crime in Amsterdam's red light district. In January, a high-level British delegation came to study the Swedish approach as Britain reviews its own prostitution laws. Norway's government plans to propose a Swedish-style prostitution law after Easter. Full report in The Independent