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There, two middle-aged women with short skirts, long blonde hair, and light puffer jackets emerge and stroll slowly toward the water.
When they run into a young man, they light cigarettes and chat him up. In Sweden, all that chatting could make the young man a criminal.
(The Netherlands fully legalized prostitution in 2000, and Germany in 2002, meaning that unlike in Sweden and other Swedish-styled countries, brothels and other third-party "exploitation" are also legal.)Even the best research doesn't yet show that legalizing prostitution causes an increase in sex trafficking, and the underground nature of trafficking means good data is limited — so limited, in fact, that the Netherlands' rapporteur on trafficking wrote in a report last year that recent research advancing a connection was ultimately "inconclusive."But Swedish law enforcement authorities say they've seen it for themselves.
The ban on buying sex "has kind of saved us," said Wahlberg.
That funding ended in 2011, and the numbers have again hit "normal" levels for sex-buying, she said.
The 15-year-old law has been copied in Norway and Iceland; Finland and the United Kingdom have adopted a modified version.Sweden's national criminal statistics paint a less positive picture than the government evaluation.The number of sex buyers has been going up since 2008 — increasing from 187 in 2008 and hitting a peak of 1,251 in 2010 before falling again, in 20, to around 550.As for men buying sex, the government evaluation raised more questions than answers.Were fewer men actually buying sex in Sweden thanks to the law, or were fewer men admitting to being johns — and thereby outing themselves as criminals in a government inquiry?
Street prostitution had been halved, human traffickers had taken up with other countries because the law made it too difficult to work, and fewer men had reported buying sex, the report said.