The Nordic Model
Contrary to the US, “The Nordic Model approach to prostitution (sometimes also known as the Sex Buyer Law, or the Swedish, Abolitionist, or Equality Model) decriminalizes all those who are prostituted, provides support services to help them exit, and makes buying people for sex a criminal offence, in order to reduce the demand that drives sex trafficking. This approach has now been adopted in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Canada, France, and most recently, Ireland.”
Good or Bad?
The model is intended to slash demand for flesh trade. Critics in Ireland, where this law had recently passed argue that criminalizing the purchase of sex, has made prostitution even more dangerous. The safety of prostitutes can be compromised.
Having said that, the proponents of the legislation in Ireland defended the model by saying it’s too early to judge its effects, yet they expressed concern about not raising enough awareness for enforcing it in Nordic countries.
“Unless we promote the change in law, unless we actively and visibly enforce it and communicate that enforcement, then the social change doesn’t happen,” says Denise Charlton, chair of the Turn Off the Red Light campaign.
However, we should note that several Nordic countries, including Sweden, where the law has been passed more than a decade earlier witnessed steady decline in the rates of prostitution and trafficking. The main reason behind the success of the model is it’s different-approach – it’s a radically different way of measuring the role of intention in prostitution and identifying the role each stakeholder in the incident plays.