The Swedish Model

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This morning I attended a GenCen coffee hour with Dr. Nata Duvvury from the National University of Ireland, Gateway. Being the only undergrad student in attendance, as it was intended for Graduate students, I really enjoyed hearing about the varying forms of research being done by MSU graduate students around the world and how they related to women’s and gender studies. As we went around the table introducing ourselves I shared that I was still in my undergrad and that I was very much interested in sex trafficking. Dr. Duvvury then asked me if I’d heard about the Swedish model of criminalization relating to trafficking overseas. While she did elaborate on the method a bit, she recommended I look into it further myself. This is the picture I first found when googling this Swedish Model. Sweden has altered it’s criminal justice system so that it no longer targets prostitutes/trafficking victims, but the source of the problem: the sex buyer. Sweden is done allowing men to roam the streets and rent women for hours with absolutely no fear of they themselves being arrested. Women trapped in both the trafficking industry and the prostitution industry are arrested for being “the source” of sex work every single day, when in reality the industries would not exist without customers. Sex work inflicts so much trauma that escaping it is nearly impossible without social support. If the traffickers and customers keep coming, the industry keeps going. The Swedish model realizes that sex trafficking is an institution of inequality. When Sweden banned the purchase of sex, prostitution did decrease. But did the industry actually shrink? Or is this just pushing this already underground industry even farther down?

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One thought on “The Swedish Model

  1. This is really interesting. The photo you used is actually from this company that is supposed to sell men’s clothing: http://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/home. Their ads are VERY sexual and I actually wrote a post about them, but it would be interesting to connect products targeted for the male audience and sex trafficking.

    Although that particular model does partake, isn’t it larger than just one model? What about the entire company? Shouldn’t they be held accountable for allowing that type of behavior as well?

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