Nordic Baltic Network - support to women victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation
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National situation and policy developments

The Swedish Government has started working on a National Action Program for combating of trafficking in human beings. The National Action Program will include the following:

1. A National Action Plan for the continued work against prostitution and trafficking in human beings for sexual purposes, especially women and children.

2. A National Action Plan for combating trafficking in human beings for the purpose of forced labor, removal of organs and other forms of exploitation.

In accordance with the 1997 joint declaration of the European Union (The Hague Declaration), the National Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) of the National Police has been appointed the Swedish National Rapporteur on trafficking in human beings. The NCID annually compiles and analyses information on the scale of trafficking in human beings in Sweden as well as between Sweden and other countries and gives recommendations on how trafficking in human beings can be prevented and counteracted. It reports regularly to the Swedish Government.

According to the NCID, between 400 and 600 women who are victims of trafficking in human beings for purposes of sexual exploitation arrive in Sweden every year. Most of them come from the Baltic countries, Eastern Europe or Russia. Traffickers often recruit women with phony offers of employment as waitresses, dancers or domestic workers.

Some legal provisions

Swedish criminal law criminalizes trafficking and provides for prison term of minimum 2 and maximum 10 years for those convicted of trafficking in human beings.

Reflection period: 30 days. This period is not conditional upon cooperation with the authorities.

Residence permits: VOTs can receive temporary residence permits for 6 months as a minimum. Such permits are conditional on cooperation in criminal proceedings and upon breaking connections to the suspects in the criminal proceedings. The Prosecutor General decides if VOT will get a temporary residence permit if she agrees to testify and cooperate with the police and other authorities.

The public social services provides assistance if VOT have temporary residence permits.

The purchasing of sexual services is also criminalized, and provides for a fine or prison term for a maximum of 6 months.

Swedish Penal Code, chapter 6, section 11: A person who, in other cases than previously stated in this chapter, obtains a casual sexual relation in exchange for payment shall be sentenced for the purchase of a sexual service to a fine or imprisonment for at most six months. That which is stated in the first section also applies if the payment has been promised or made by someone else.

- PDF

Swedish Action Plan to combat prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation - PDF

Swedish Action Plan to combat prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation, July 2008. In Swedish.