Con

Petra Östergren, MA, author, wrote the Feb. 6, 2004 article "Sexworkers Critique of Swedish Prostitution Policy" posted on her website, that stated:

“Swedish politicians and feminists are proud of the state’s prostitution policy. They insist that it has positive effects. Sexworkers are of a different view. Most of the female Swedish sexworkers I have interviewed voice a strong critique of their legal and social situation. They feel discriminated against, endangered by the very laws that seek to protect them, and they feel under severe emotional stress as a result of the laws…

Criticisms similar to those made by my respondents were voiced in the three official reports made since the law against purchasing of sexual services was introduced… All of the authorities say that there is no evidence that prostitution was lower overall. Instead hidden prostitution had probably increased…

The National Police Board writes that the sexworkers that are still in street prostitution have a tough time. This, they explain, is because customers are fewer, prices are lower and competition harder for the women. This leads to the sex workers selling sex without protection of condoms for a higher rate, and it leads to them having to accept more customers than before (since the prices are lower). The respondents in the National Board of Health and Welfare’s study (of which none are sexworkers themselves) believe female sexworkers now experience more difficulties and are more exposed then before. The buyers are ‘worse’ and more dangerous, and the women who cannot stop or move their business are dependent on these more dangerous men, since they cannot afford to turn them down as before. Even the buyers that were interviewed believe that the law mostly affected the already socially marginalised women. According to the National Police Board, the healthcare system has worries about declining health among sex workers and spreading sexually transmitted disease.”

Feb. 6, 2004