Myth-Busting the Swedish Model: The Evidence Debunking 10 Key Claims of Client Criminalisation
Pioneered in Sweden, where it became law in 1999, this model has now been adopted by six European countries (Norway 2009, Iceland 2009, Northern Ireland 2015, France 2016, Republic of Ireland 2017) and two other countries further afield (Canada 2014, Israel 2017).
The evidence against the Swedish Model approach has been damning. Sex workers have consistently reported that criminalising clients puts their health and wellbeing at greater risk, decreasing their power to negotiate boundaries, forcing them into isolation and experiencing higher rates of crime, including violent crime.
Moreover, as the factsheet explores in depth, claims on the benefits of the Swedish model by its proponents are not supported by the evidence. Sex workers are not decriminalised - a finding corroborated by an Amnesty International report on the situation in Ireland - and there have been rises in cases of human trafficking, with victims of this trade made even more vulnerable within a system of criminalisation.