Nordic Model

Samantha Inesta
Human Rights Fellow
Founder/Executive Director

Now that the call for decriminalization is being heard in the corridors of “human rights” organizations such as Amnesty International who have linked arms with the sex worker’s lobby to ensure that men get what they paid for without judicial repercussions, the campaign for the Nordic Model is stronger now more than ever. The decriminalization efforts do not take into account the women who are being raped, brutalized or even murdered. It pushes the narrative of the “Happy Hooker” and a woman that aims to please at any consequence. It also doesn’t tell the story of the women who are forced into prostitution because of economic disparity, no options for a steady job or education, poverty, history of childhood sexual abuse or mental instability. The goal is to protect the sex buyers , give them all the rights, including the right to do whatever they see fit to a women’s body whether she has consented or not.

The Nordic Model originated from Sweden by two female Swedish researchers who found that men who bought women didn’t care anything for the harm it was causing them or their humanity. These men are referred to as “Punters”, they have a huge lack of understanding of women’s pain or the consequences of their own actions. Through this research it was found that women were paying a higher price by being enslaved sexually by these men while incurring criminal prosecution. The reason why so many men were engaged in buying women is because there is a demand for women in prostitution by men who want to use them. The Nordic model aimed to end this demand by prosecuting the sex buyers (Punters) not the women. Once implemented the demand was reduced significantly in the region making it a model for other european countries as well as the United States. The problem is, not everyone is on board with this new way of fighting human trafficking. Some countries have gone as far to say that it pushes the trafficked women underground so that they cannot be rescued. There is no evidence to support that claim. Then there’s the sex worker lobby who claims that they are not being abused, they are okay with it and it’s a “job” like any other for them. I know several “sex workers” who feel otherwise.

It seems that one of the worst enemies in this fight are other women. The ones who are manipulated by the groups that tell them it’s a good way to make money and it can be a job like anyone else going to work to live. These are lies that are claiming women’s lives everyday. Women are coming out of prostitution with stories that will make it hard for you to sleep at night and wonder what kind of man would do those things? This is not a job that any woman would take if she knew she had other opportunities. In some countries, sex work is legal making it hard for women to apply for normal jobs that are automatically given to men because there is an option for sex work. When you are living in a society that still believes that prostitution is the “oldest profession” women who are caught up in it, find a hard time getting out. Human trafficking, forced prostitution (which is usually referred to as sex work) are all intertwined and hurting women and girls all over the world. Men want to preserve their right to have abusive, degrading sex with women of their choosing while these women are hurting, in pain and being murdered. Why would anyone think a women would chose this as a job?

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