The Nordic model has two main goals: to curb the demand for commercial sex that fuels sex trafficking, and promote equality between men and women. It is based on an approach first adopted in Sweden in 1999, and followed by Norway and Iceland.
...a part of a Violence Against Women bill, Sweden passed a law that criminalized buyers of sex, while decriminalizing the person who sold, or was sold for, sex. Sweden understood that gender inequality and sexual exploitation, including sex trafficking, could not be combated effectively as long as it was considered acceptable to purchase access to another – often more vulnerable and disadvantaged – person’s body. Alongside this law, the Swedish government made a significant investment in exit programs for those who wish to leave prostitution and to provide comprehensive social services for victims of exploitation, which is essential for a victim-centred, human rights-based approach to combating trafficking.
Several countries have followed Sweden’s example, and many more are considering this approach. Norway and Iceland passed similar laws in 2008 and 2009, respectively, while in a growing trend sweeping across Europe, Nordic-model style legislation has recently been discussed in the parliaments of France, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales. In early 2014, the parliaments of the European Union and the Council of Europe both adopted non-binding resolutions recommending member states to consider the Nordic Model.
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