A study conducted on behalf of Norway’s government found that the prohibition on paying for sex with prostitutes works. According to the study the ban has not seen an increase in violence against prostitutes and has led to a reduction in the number of those paying for sex. The ruling Coalition had favoured repealing the ban on paying for sex, introduced in 2009 but stated that this was dependent on the findings of the independent study. For the article please visit http://www.firstpost.com/world/norways-closely-watched-prostitution-ban-works-study-finds-1659951.html.
A number of prostitutes organisations and individual prostitutes argue that the ban on paying for sex (clients are criminalised but not the prostitutes) makes the lives of sex workers more dangerous as clients are more nervous, are less inclined to provide personal details and wish to meet in out of the way places to avoid detection by the authorities. Some human rights activists also believe that banning paying for sex runs counter to human rights as adults have a right to freely buy and sell sexual services. Thus far I can find no reaction to the report sighted above but there will, over the coming days be those who will dispute it’s findings.
Of the Nordic countries Iceland, Sweden and Norway operate total bans while Finland makes it an offence to pay for sex with a person who was forced into prostitution irrespective of whether the person paying was aware that coercion had taken place. There have been calls for the UK to adopt the so-called Nordic Model, however governments have been reluctant to introduce a ban although various laws do restrict the buying and selling of sex. In the UK prostitutes organisations such as the English Collective of Prostitutes oppose a ban while the All Party Parliamentary Group On Prostitution recently called for the adoption of the Nordic Model as did the European Parliament. Many sex worker activists say that their opposition to the Nordic Model is being disregarded putting lives at risk while proponents of a ban counter by saying that many sex worker organisations are controlled by “pimps” and are not representative of what they term “prostituted” people. This debate is sure to run and run.