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International approaches to prostitutionLaw and policy in Europe and Asia$
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Geetanjali Gangoli and Nicole Westmarland

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346728

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346728.001.0001

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Prostitution in Sweden: debates and policies 1980–2004

Prostitution in Sweden: debates and policies 1980–2004

(p.66) (p.67) Four Prostitution in Sweden: debates and policies 1980–2004
International approaches to prostitution

Yvonne Svanström

Policy Press

This chapter explains the move in 1999 to a new policy that criminalises only the clients of prostitutes. There seems to have been consensus regarding questions on prostitution within the academic community during the 1980s. Research in the 1990s and current research on prostitution in Sweden has a broader disciplinary scope. In the 1990s, the question of whether prostitution should be regarded as exploitation of women or as a trade dominated the debate. The existing laws and policies, and the operation of laws and policies on Swedish prostitution, are also explored. The debates on the legalisation and decriminalisation of Swedish prostitution are then addressed. The chapter explains that some of the different institutions involved in upholding the law are still reluctant to do so, and that at times they seem to look upon prostitution as sex work rather than exploitation.

Keywords:   Swedish prostitution, Sweden, sex work, women exploitation, legalisation, decriminalisation, laws, policies

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