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The Naked Anthropologist · Swedish Law | Evaluation | Criminalisation| Clients | Prostitution | The Naked Anthropologist

Swedish evaluation of law banning purchase of sex: unsupported claims

On 2 July 2010 I published excerpts from the English summary of the Swedish government’s evaluation of its law banning the buying of sex, just to make the material available. I’ve now removed those excerpts to avoid any impression that I accept the evaluation report at face value. On the contrary, I have published extensive criticism of the evaluation:

Big claims, little evidence: Sweden’s law against buying sex

Irresponsible use of trafficking data, or: Garbage in, garbage out

Doubtful report on sex-purchase law, Laura’s article from Svenska Dagbladet

Smoke gets in your eyes: Evaluation of Swedish anti-prostitution law offers ideology, not methodology

Swedish report based on wrong Danish numbers for street prostitution

Behind the happy face of the Swedish anti-prostitution law


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  1. From the report:

    “In 2008, the number of people in street prostitution in both Norway and Denmark was estimated to be three times higher than in Sweden.”

    This is the kind of thing that really sets off my BS detector. Their basing their claims of success on *estimates*. Estimates by who and based on what? Most of the report is in Swedish, so not sure of whether they give details on how they’re coming up with these numbers.


  2. The increase in Denmark, which the report refers to is false. It comes from the radical ngo Organisation Reden who has reported in this way:

    If we met 1 sexworker in 2006 and we met 1 in 2007, then in 2007 we have had knowledge of double as many compared to 2006, which is an increase of 100%. If we didn’t meet a single sexworker in 2007, the number of street sex workers would be constant.

    In this way of counting, there can never be a fall, but only an increase. As a horryfying example, some of those, they have reported are even dead years before they are numbers in the increase. In addition, most of those people they met are probably not sexworkers at all.

    This is fraud. When the numbers are corrected, then it shows a fall and not an increase.

    In Norway, the increase in street sexworkers comes out of the horrible reality, that the authorites started contacting those people who rented out premises to sexworkers threatening them with criminal charges. The result was, that sexworkers were kicked out on the streeets, with the result, that while 10% of Danish sexworkers work on the street, then 40% of the Norwegians one work on the street because the authorites, in this way, prevent them from working indoor.



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