Government plans to outlaw sex purchases

Despite studies showing it doesn’t work, plans are moving forward on laws making it illegal to pay for sex

July 24th, 2012 9:46 pm| by admin
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Members of the coalition government still plan to keep criminalisation as the backbone of any new laws regarding the nation's sex trade, despite a report from Norway showing that making it illegal to buy sex in that country in 2009 has not resulted in a decrease the number of sex workers or an improvement in their quality of life. The report, commissioned by the city of Oslo, also showed that since it became illegal to purchase sexual services, sex trade workers have been the victims of more violence.

The facts in the report have not deterred the parliamentary group that is in the process of proposing a similar ban here. The group remains focused on criminalising the sex for hire business.

“The current situation is not tolerable," MP Pernille Vigsø Bagge (Socialistisk Folkeparti) told public broadcaster DR. "Denmark has become a Mecca for sex because other countries like Norway, Sweden and even Lithuania have made it illegal to buy sex."

One expert saw the idea of a ban on sex purchases as nothing more than political grandstanding.

"Making it illegal to be a john is a baseless ideological process," Christian Groes-Green, an assistant professor at Roskilde University, told DR. "If they are having problems dealing with real political issues, bringing back the sex debate is just good politics for the Socialistisk Folkeparti and Socialdemokraterne."

MP Trine Bramsen (Socialdemokraterne) maintained that criminalisation was the right thing to do.

"Different studies make different claims about what women believe," she told DR. "This study makes a claim of its own, but of course criminalising has been beneficial in Norway because it has sent a strong signal to the people who would buy it."

(All photos: Ella Navarro)
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