The Nordic Model: de-decriminalizing Prostitution

pn street prostitute

The Nordic Model – Criminalizing the act the buying, Decriminalizing the act of selling.  Is this the best method?

Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand…and recently Germany have all increased their revenue by decriminalizing the profession ‘Prostitution’…and although this may not have been the intent, the side effect has now subjected the ‘victims’ to income tax.  ‘Victims’ because they are subject to mistreatment, abuse – Prostitution is not a ‘career’, it is a ‘means’.

The intent – Decriminalizing Prostitution protects women.

The intent – sex workers can work in the open rather than from back alleys.  Can be visible.  Can be heard.  Can feel safe.  The law is now on their side.

The result – buyers are free to ‘browse’ openly.  Buyers are free to shop, to haggle, openly.  Buyers are free to act like assholes, discriminate, humiliate, assault and abuse verbally…openly.

The result – sex workers are degraded, humiliated.  Sex workers are openly discriminated and segregated.

The cloud cover of short term protection quickly dissipates, exposing the long term stigma that comes with the profession, past or present, of Prostitution.

Jane, the sex workers’ resume: 2005-2009, under graduate studies.  2009-2011, prostitution.  2011-2013, Post graduate studies.  Would you hire Jane?

The end result – decriminalizing Prostitution has had a negative impact.  The buyers, all along…in the clear, free to use, abuse the system, and most importantly, the workers.

The Nordic Model – criminalize the buying, decriminalize the selling, and offer exit strategies for the workers freeing them from fear of being labelled, discriminated, stigmatized.

It would be unorthodox to charge the buyer and not the seller of illegal drugs or stolen merchandise; products which can be detached from those involved.  You cannot detach the ‘sex’ from the ‘worker’.  At first glance, it appears to be a Model for all the wrong reasons.  But for all the wrong reasons, it works.

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