In the wake of the Amnesty International decision to push for full decriminalisation of the sex industry, Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has invited the organisation to study its prostitution laws.
It goes without saying that the Swedish government are unhappy with the AA decision. We all know that it was Sweden, in 1999, who were the first country to make it illegal to pay for sex. The plan of course was to quash demand, and by doing so, bury the industry.
Wallstrom has stated that she is “very surprised” by the decision, and believes it has damaged the Amnesty International organisation significantly.
“They’ve lost a lot and not gained very much by doing so. There are a lot of people who have left Amnesty,” she said.
“We think there is good reason for Amnesty to come here and look at our system,” she said.
The plan is for her to invite Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty to Stockholm.
“This is important for all of us that are out in the world talking about human rights and these issues,” Wallstrom said.
The ‘Swedish model’, as it has come to be known has been adopted in recent years by Norway, Northern Ireland, Iceland, and the Spanish city of Barcelona.
It has to be said, I’m not sure what good inviting Amnesty International over is going to do, from the government’s perspective. Those of us working in the industry are well aware that it hasn’t been much of a success.
The best thing you can say is that prostitution has been taken off the streets. By the way, that isn’t me saying that, but I am sure there are those who are delighted by that.
However, it is what happens then that is the issue. Either prostitution has just disappeared, or it has gone elsewhere. In reality, everything has moved online, or underground into places that the law won’t know about. The latter part of that is an absolutely terrible thing for the safety of sex workers, but hey, as long as they aren’t cluttering up the streets, that is OK, yeah?
The Swedish model will always have huge limitations placed upon it. The police are stretched enough already. If anyone thinks they are going to be spending their time sitting outside escort apartments whilst there are murderers and robbers out there, they are as delusional as the politicians who think that just because sex work isn’t on the street, the law is actually working.
Bring it On
Here at Escort Sweden, we 100% back the case for decriminalisation put forward by Amnesty. In fact, we actually hope they do come to Sweden. This will give them a chance to see for themselves the points we have been making. The clever people at AA are hardly going to be suckered in by our Foreign Minister pointing at an empty Stockholm street and going “look, no prostitutes”.
It does go to show though, that despite our fantastic victory with the AA decision, there will be people who fights the organisation every step of the way. This is why we have to stay strong. There are sex workers out there who are relying on people like Amnesty international. If we can give them any support at all, then we have made a positive contribution.
I of course will keep you up to date as the story develops.
Since then, he has specialised in articles on the battle for equal rights for sex workers, sexual health, as well as bringing the readers fun news from around the world. He also has a major interest in LGBT rights, and is an active campaigner in this field.
When he isn't fighting the good fight, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, and young daughter. He also enjoys reading and taking long walks.
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