Prostitution and sexual exploitation – inherent bedfellows?: Contrasting Sweden with Germany
Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
The right to sexual self-determination is a crucial regarding prostitution and trafficking, and in this context it has and must be discussed if prostitution can be voluntary and if so when. It is not easy to define voluntariness; social structures, thoughts on liberty and gender equality must be taken into account. With UN Conventions and EU directives concerning the matter, the battle against trafficking, including sex trafficking, has been acknowledged as a global issue. However, the need to criminalise prostitutionis not viewed unanimously, some countries having preferred to legalise in order to recognise prostitution as a profession. The German legalisation has been positively reviewed as pragmatic, providing prostitutes with social rights, but it has also been criticised for overseeing gender inequalities connected to the trade, and for increasing prostitution and thereby trafficking. The unique approach in Sweden, namely a criminalisation of the buyer but not of the seller, has been welcomed due to its shift of focus from the prostitute to the patron. It has also been blamed of enforcing moral ethics and distorting the concept of prostitution, intertwining all forms of it with forced sexual trade. Attention was directed towards considering if all forms of prostitution should be seen as forced, and if so, how to view sex trafficking in regards to prostitution; the proper criterion by which law should enact and enforce regulations regarding prostitution and sex trafficking; the ethics placed onlaw, reviewing legal philosophy and current critics; and the possible need for reforms. A historical overview is followed by a chapter aiming to define prostitution. A systematic examination of all the relevant regulations in Germany and Sweden, as well as EU directives and international instruments has been made. A chapter on trafficking is followed by an introduction of legal thinkers and critical voices in the subsequent chapter, and lastly by a discussion and a conclusion. Instead of disavowing prostitution as demeaning for women, which would enhance the stigma and deny those within the profession social benefits, the occurrence of sexual exploitation should be the focal point, may it have caused by prostitution or sex trafficking. The protective interest would be apparent by only criminalising the sexual exploitation within prostitution; as a crime against a person a legitimate claim for compensation could also be raised. Trafficking and sex trafficking need to be viewed in light of women’s agency, where strengthened border controls risk being counterproductive and discriminative in a Europe with free movement.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 116 p.
Germany, Sweden, sexual exploitation, prostitution, comparative law, trafficking
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-200141OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-200141DiVA: diva2:622261
Lernestedt, Claes, Professor