Sex Work and the
In 1999, Sweden was the first to amend its laws to criminalise the purchase of sexual services, the provision of intermediaries for sexual services, and the operation of brothels, while the provision of sexual services is not illegal. This practice was generally understood as the "Swedish model". Later, because Norway and Iceland followed suit in 2009, it was thus also called the "Nordic model".
Later in 2014, this model was adopted by Canada. After that, in 2015 and 2016, Northern Ireland and France also revised the legislations to regulate sex work by criminalising the buyers of sexual services. In Ireland, the purchase of sexual services was made illegal in 2017. In 2018, Israel became the latest country to adopt the Nordic model approach.
The idea behind criminalising the buyers of sexual services is basically nothing more than treating clients’ purchasing sexual services as the exploitation of sex workers. In the eyes of those legislators and their supporters, all clients of sex workers are "exploiters" who satisfy their sexual desires by exploiting others. They therefore must be punished, while sex workers are all "victims" and must be "saved."
Some assume that criminalising clients of sex workers will not affect sex workers. What they do not realise is that this will only make the entire sex industry go further underground and sex workers more in danger. To avoid arrest of their clients, sex workers cannot discuss the details of the service, prices, etc. with clients in public places. Instead, they need to rush with clients to remote places to trade, or they need to rely more on the arrangements of intermediaries. The undergroundisation of sex work also makes it more difficult for sex workers to be contacted by the police or service agencies when they encounter problems or difficulties. Not only are messages about health, human rights, and personal safety more difficult to be passed on to them, real problems such as human trafficking, forced labour and intermediary exploitation will only become more concealed and difficult to detect. At the same time, what is denied is the ability, rights, and freedom of adults to voluntarily enter a sexual relationship.
After all, how arrogant can a person be to "righteously" think that he/she has the power to strip away the freedom of others and ignore their safety?