ADVERTISING
 
Monday, November 11   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Jeff Fountain
 

French adopt Nordic Model

Kajsa Wahlberg: ‘Criminals are businessmen; they calculate profits, marketing factors and risks of getting caught before investing time and money into selling women in a particular place.’

WINDOW ON EUROPE AUTHOR Jeff Fountain 10 MAY 2016 12:33 h GMT+1
human trafficking, law, france A campaign against human trafficking in France.

France has become the latest and biggest European country so far to adopt the ‘Nordic Model’ of combating prostitution by criminalising clients rather than prostitutes. While the controversial legislation took over two years to pass through parliament, the final vote in April was overwhelmingly in favour: 64 for, 12 against, 11 abstentions.



Next to fines of up to €3750, offenders would have to attend courses describing the conditions under which prostitutes work. French Socialist MP Maud Olivier, who sponsored the legislation, said that 85% of prostitutes in France were victims of trafficking.



Sweden, in 1999, was the first country to criminalise clients rather than the prostitutes. After street prostitution dropped to half previous levels, Norway (2008) and Iceland (2009) followed their Nordic neighbour. In 2014, Northern Ireland became the first British country to adopt this model.



The new French law is in line with a 2014 European Parliament resolution calling on EU countries to reduce the demand for prostitution by punishing the clients. Prostitution violated human dignity and human rights, the resolution stated. It called on member states to find exit strategies and alternative sources of income for women who wanted to leave prostitution.



Mary Honeyball, the British Labour MEP who drafted the resolution, argued that legalisation of prostitution had been disastrous in the Netherlands and Germany. A more nuanced approach was needed, punishing men who treated women’s bodies as a commodity, without criminalising those driven into sex work. She called for ‘a strong signal that the European Parliament is ambitious enough to tackle prostitution head on, rather than accepting it as a fact of life.’



The Nordic Model recognised the connection between the prostitution market and sex trafficking. Demand for sexual services fueled sex trafficking; shrinking the market for prostitution reduced sex trafficking. A recent study of 150 countries, published by the London School of Economics, showed how legalized prostitution led to expansion of the prostitution market and increased human trafficking.



 



PROS AND CONS



Understandably the sex industry feels threatened. On the streets and in the media, sex workers and lobbyists claimed that the legislation made sex work more dangerous. One prostitute demonstrated with the banner, ‘Don’t liberate me, I’ll take care of myself’.



Maud Olivier anticipated this argument by asking parliament: ‘Is it enough for one prostitute to say she is free for the enslavement of others to be respectable and acceptable?’



Others argue that criminalising clients diminishes the likelihood of them reporting concerns about a sex worker’s well-being, and that sex workers have to risk more to protect buyers from prosecution. Prostitution will be pushed underground, they claim.



Scanning through media reports on the new French legislation, I read experts arguing various pros and cons in an apparent attempt at journalistic even-handedness. Yet I found no journalists asking what the Swedes would say after more than sixteen years of experience.



Kajsa Wahlberg, Sweden’s rapporteur on anti-human trafficking activities, has no doubts about the success of their model. Prostitution and trafficking has been reduced significantly. Violence to prostitutes has not increased. Nor has prostitution moved underground.



At a 2010 conference in The Hague, Wahlberg told Dutch officials that a Special Inquiry on the decade-long results of the legislation reported no evidence of increased violence or underground prostitution. Between 1998 and 2003, the number of prostitutes in the country dropped 40%. Male Swedish clients had dropped from 13.6 % in 1996 to only 7.8% in 2008.



 



BAD MARKET



‘We don’t have a problem with prostitutes. We have a problem with men who buy sex,’ said Wahlberg. Without men who wish to purchase a sexual service, the prostitution industry and its networks could and would not continue to operate. The market would be closed down.



Wahlberg: ‘Criminals are businessmen; they calculate profits, marketing factors and risks of getting caught before investing time and money into selling women in a particular place. Our job is to do everything possible to create a bad market for traffickers. Prostitution activities are not and cannot be pushed underground. The profit of traffickers, procurers and other prostitution operators is obviously dependent on easy access for men to women.’



From wire-tapped conversations of organized crime networks, she added, police knew that these networks saw Sweden as a bad market, preferring countries where prostitution was legalized or tolerated.



Wahlberg told her audience in The Hague: ‘We want to create a society where the human rights of all women and girls are protected. I want to encourage other countries to follow suit–because then we will end the trafficking in human beings for sexual purposes.’



Jeff Fountain is Director of the Schuman Centre for European Studies, and speaks on issues facing Christians today in Europe. He writes at Weekly Word.


 


POLL
Prostitution in Europe
What should we do to stop trafficking and sexual slavery in Europe?
Legalise prostitution.
23%
Punish the sex 'consumers'
73%
Countries should not take specific actions.
3%
This Poll is closed.
Number of votes: 94
SEE MORE POLLS
 
 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - French adopt Nordic Model
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Algerian Christians worship God as police arrives to close church Algerian Christians worship God as police arrives to close church

Video of the moment police officers enter a Protestant evangelical church near Tizi-Ouzou to close it. Church members do not stop singing, and peacefully resist later.

 
Porn exploits victims of human trafficking Porn exploits victims of human trafficking

The European Freedom Network launches a new anti-trafficking campaign: “You have no way of knowing if the porn you are looking at is from someone who chose to be there or not”.

 

 

 
What makes humans different to artificial intelligence machines? What makes humans different to artificial intelligence machines?

David Glass, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Ulster University (Northern Ireland) analyses whether a computer can have emotions or a conscious experience.

 
A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees

Thousands still cross the border to Colombia every week, and many continue on foot into the interior. Christian young people have set up an aid station along the road.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.