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Evaluation of the Swedish law on purchase of sexual services

Lisa Kerker

The Swedish legal prohibition of the purchase of sexual services, which entered into force in 1999, is now to be evaluated. Such a decision was taken by the Swedish government 24 April, and the evaluation shall be presented at 30 April 2010 the latest. Ms Anna Skarhed, one of the Justices of the Supreme Court in Sweden, has been appointed as the investigator of this evaluation.

The scope of this evaluation is the application of the law, and the effects of the prohibition. The evaluation aims to see how this provision works in practice, and what effects this law has had on prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation in Sweden. The mission includes reviewing legal practice; analysing the work of the police and prosecutors who investigate these crimes; comparing the extent and forms of prostitution today with the situation before the prohibition; and analysing the impact this prohibition has had on prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation. It moreover includes analysing the effects the prohibition has had on the buyers of sexual services, and its consequences for the situation of persons in prostitution.

Purchase of sexual services is to remain criminalised. The evaluator is otherwise in a position to propose legal and other measures.

You can read the Directive (in Swedish) here.