Pro

Julie Bindel, journalist, and Liz Kelly, PhD, Roddick Chair of Violence Against Women at London Metropolitan University, wrote "A Critical Examination of Responses to Prostitution in Four Countries: Victoria, Australia; Ireland; the Netherlands; and Sweden" and submitted it on Feb. 4, 2004 to the Local Government and Transport Committee of the Scottish Parliament:

“The Swedish regime is not simply a piece of ideological legislation, but a holistic approach to the problems of prostitution…

No increase in violence against women since the law was implemented has been reported from a majority of the police districts…

Although it is often argued that restrictions on street prostitution results in poor and drug addicted women losing their only source of income, there has been very little protest regarding this issue from opponents of the legislation. However, the Swedish government investment in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes and other exit strategies has undoubtedly enabled more women to leave prostitution. Some of the NGOs argue that a number of women have been inspired to leave by the new legislation.

Decriminalising the selling of sex has meant those in prostitution do not have to contend with harassment and arrest from police, which can enable the women to feel less stigmatised. Furthermore, this system serves to prevent the ‘revolving door’, and means that services can be explicitly directed at assisting women to leave prostitution, and with reintegration into society…

What emerged strongly from this review, even with the limitations of time and resources, is that most approaches to prostitution lack a coherent philosophical underpinning, from which specific short and longer term aims and objectives could be drawn out and evaluated…. The most coherent approach in terms of philosophy and implementation is that adopted by Sweden, and interestingly it is the only one where no one who sells sex is subject to the criminal law.”

Feb. 4, 2004