More about Crime Prostitution has moved from the street to the indoor market, according to new research on the effects of the Swedish Sex Purchase Act. Where Does it Stand?
They have looked at both desired and unintended effects. According to Skilbrei, the research field is so politicised that one needs to be extra critical to the research. Difficult to determine how many buys sex Even the number of prostitutes in Sweden before and after the introduction of the ban is difficult to determine, according to Skilbrei. Historically, for instance, we have seen that people sell sex regardless of whether it is illegal or not, also in countries in which prostitution is punishable by death.
Actors come and go, some are involved only for shorter periods and are not necessarily detected by the authorities. When the police in Northern Italy become more violent, the Nigerian women who used to sell sex there migrate to northern Europe. They run from something rather than to something, and are not necessarily affected by which laws are in force in the country to where they travel.
Neither is the market only affected by one set of laws. For instance, immigration acts may be equally as significant as sex purchase acts: Immigrant women who sell sex and come into contact with the police risk deportation, which also happens in Norway. But this is the case in many European countries, and is just as much a result of other factors such as the internet and the Immigration Act.
The police also work much more actively now in order to clean up the public space than they used to. There is less prostitution in places where drug addicts are offered treatment. This also applies to countries with very different legislation on prostitution. The support for the Sex Purchase Act in Sweden has increased, but there are major gender differences.
Although street prostitution has decreased in Sweden, Swedish authorities have, on the other hand, reported an increase in announcements for the indoor prostitution market in Sweden. According to Skilbrei, this may indicate that the so-called indoor market has grown. Both the gender equality policy and the welfare state prevent prostitution.
Several researchers have concluded that there is less human trafficking in countries where prostitution is criminalised and more in countries where prostitution is legalised. The same researchers warn that the figures should be analysed with care. Skilbrei emphasises that it is difficult to compare the scope of human trafficking over time and in different countries, among other things because the number of victims of human trafficking is counted very differently. However, they hardly represent the actual figures.
In Norway, we also identify victims that will never appear in court. Thus, the scope is difficult to compare even with neighbouring countries. But one can also imagine that the scope gets bigger. And who are the customers that stop purchasing sex following a ban?
And then the human traffickers get to rule the market. Both scenarios are possible consequences of criminalising. In a landscape such as this, researchers need to be particularly strict in their methods and careful in their conclusions. Norwegian ban on buying sex affects immigrant women Many support ban on sex purchase One of the objectives in the Sex Purchase Act was to alter norms and attitudes, by transferring the stigma associated with prostitution from the seller to the buyer.
According to research, notable changes have occurred in this area: Whereas a survey carried out in demonstrated that thirty-two per cent were in support of a ban against sex purchase, figures from surveys carried out from onwards have increased to more than seventy per cent. The main objective when the act was introduced was to put an end to prostitution. And when the criminal act has spoken, it becomes harder to present differing views in public.
But so has the share of people who support a ban against selling sex. The norm change is not necessarily about transferring the responsibility over to the buyers, which was partly the intention behind the ban. Why Norway criminalized the purchase of sex Changing attitudes in line with negative view on women?
In her thesis, she studied international law and human trafficking in relation to prostitution. She also studied the debate on prostitution and human trafficking. In this sense, the Sex Purchase Act achieves its purpose. Its goal is its means, so to say. According to Westerstrand, the focus on achieving goals reflects a neoliberal idea characterised by simplified goal management principles. In Germany, nearly thirty women within the sex industry have been murdered since they legalised prostitution.
However, she finds it regrettable that the support for a ban against sex sale has increased too. Within these groups, i think there is a tendency to want to punish those who sell sex. This has to do with the fact that a large share of women in prostitution are immigrants, and with a sad view on women in general. The women in question, however, are looked at with contempt.
This is what prostitution looks like: According to May-Len Skilbrei, this has not happened in Sweden. But it is important to realise the bigger purpose: Skilbrei emphasises that the purposes of an act may be more than just achieving changes here and now, and that the criminal act is also an expression of a norm for how we want our society to be.
What kind of research is possible and desirable? There has been a lot of symbolic politics, but little investment in research.