This just in:
The Norwegian Parliament has voted in favour of making payment for sexual acts a criminal offence in order to protect vulnerable women and children. The law passed with 44 votes in favour and 28 against and will come into effect on January 1, 2009.
The legislation — inspired by the success of neighbouring Sweden which criminalised the purchasing of sex in 1999 — is actually rather more robust than that of its next door neighbour, setting a new pace for prostitution law reform.
Sweden’s Prostitution Solution: Why Hasn’t Anyone Tried This Before?
In 1999, after years of research and study, Sweden passed legislation
that a) criminalizes the buying of sex, and b) decriminalizes the
selling of sex.
US Department of State: “Prostitution: To Legalize Or Not”
Even the representative from the Netherlands said that the legalization
of prostitution had not accomplished what it was supposed to. Corinne
Dettmeijer-Vermeulen, her country’s National Rapporteur on Trafficking
in Human Beings, said in candor that: “One of the goals was to get
crime out. Did we succeed? I don’t think so.”
In a worthy step to the Netherlands’ credit, earlier this year, the
city of Amsterdam closed about one-third of the city’s infamous
red-light district because legalization and regulation have not dried
up sex trafficking, which has continued apace.
It was gratifying to know that as we learn more about the vicious
exploitation that occurs in prostitution, and the link between
prostitution and sex trafficking, countries are willing to reexamine
their legal regimes.