Effects of Sweden's prostitution law to be studied

The extent and effects of prostitution in Sweden's big cities is to be mapped out for the first time since 2007, reports Swedish Radio News.  A specialist team at Stockholm county council will carry out the work, which hopes to develop better methods for prevention and protection.

In 1999, Sweden became the first country in the world to outlaw the buying but not selling of sex.

Government Minister for Equality Maria Arnholm said that it had been seven years since the last national prostitution study, and that a lot can happen in terms of its spread and extent in that time. She told Swedish radio News: "Knowledge is always an important platform when you want to combat crime." 

The previous report, from the investigation in 2007, showed that two police districts knew sex was being sold in their area. Ten districts said they suspected that prostitution took place, while another seven claimed that it did not take place in their area. The review estimated that approximately 300 people were in street prostitution in Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg. Since then, no national survey has been made of the situation.

The new study will report its findings in a year's time.

Equality Minister Maria Arnholm said she suspected that prostitution in Sweden today is more affected by trafficking, compared to seven years ago.

"Trafficking in Europe and the world has increased, and there is reason to believe that even more girls - and boys - are forced to come here," she told Swedish Radio News.