Sweden unveils tougher penalties for buying sex

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Sweden unveils tougher penalties for buying sex

Postby StuartM » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:59 pm

http://www.thelocal.se/31680/20110127/

Sweden unveils tougher penalties for buying sex

Swedish sex buyers too often get away with fines, according to Justice Minister Beatrice Ask, who has now proposed toughening penalties for those who are convicted to up to a year in prison.

The maximum penalty for buying sexual services will increase on July 1st if the government has its way. The government has now proposed making it possible for the courts to impose sentences of up to one year in prison.

"After reviewing the first year of the law against buying sex, we found that almost all the sanctions, in 85 percent of cases, resulted in each offender having been fined 50 days' pay," Ask said at a press briefing on Thursday morning.

"Only a few cases have taken into account aggravating circumstances before the sanction is imposed. This is a concern because in many cases, there are reasons to look more seriously into the crime of buying sex," she added.

The basis for the proposal is a study that found that the criminalisation of buying sex helped to combat prostitution and trafficking, with the ban argued to have had a deterrent effect, according to a report in the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

"In many cases, there could be a penalty value for fines that can be higher than the maximum penalty for the crime of buying sex," said Ask.

"Like if buying sex had similarities with sex crimes like sexual assault and when there is an element of degradation in buying sex. The penalty scale is not sufficient and there is a need for a more nuanced assessment of the penalty value," she explained.

The government currently seeks to raise the maximum penalty for buying sex from the current six months in prison to one year as of July 1st.

Petra Östergren is a writer and social commentator who specialises in gender politics and prostitution issues. She is currently writing a report criticising the law with Swedish historian Susanne Dodillet that will be published in early March.

An outspoken critic of Sweden's commercial sex laws, her views are at odds with other feminists.

"I just find it really curious what is happening right now," Östergren told The Local on Thursday.


Probably best not to read the comments on this one. It's obviously good they're going to increase the maximum penalty but I suspect most johns will still get off with fines. So far not one man has been sent to prison in Sweden for buying sex. It would also have been good if like Norway they'd make it illegal for Swedes to buy sex abroad however I understand that such a measure would be virtually impossible to enforce.
StuartM
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Re: Sweden unveils tougher penalties for buying sex

Postby sam » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:33 pm

StuartM wrote: So far not one man has been sent to prison in Sweden for buying sex.


Really? I thought a few men have been jailed but not very many. What happened to the 15% convicted but not fined mentioned below?


Sweden proposes to increase penalty for sex with a prostitute in some cases to year in prison
The Associated Press

STOCKHOLM — Sweden's government is proposing strengthening the country's unusual sex crime law, increasing the maximum penalty for having sex with a prostitute to one year in prison.

The government on Thursday put forward the proposal, saying those who buy sex from a trafficking victim or a mentally impaired person should receive tougher punishment than others.

The previous maximum penalty was six months in prison, but 85 per cent of all convictions only resulted in fines.

Swedish legislation targets those who pay for sex and those who run brothels and escort services but not prostitutes, who are viewed as victims of the sex trade.

Justice Minister Beatrice Ask said it is important that people don't believe they "can solve the problem by just paying a fine."
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Re: Sweden unveils tougher penalties for buying sex

Postby StuartM » Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:22 pm

sam wrote:Really? I thought a few men have been jailed but not very many. What happened to the 15% convicted but not fined mentioned below?

According to an article in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (not sure what year but I think it's fairly recent): "Since it became illegal to buy sex there have been 1461 police reports of sex purchase. 436 have been convicted of buying sex. Noone has so far been sentenced to prison". It appears that the 85% figure is the percentage of people fined 50 days pay (the standard punishment at the moment) while the rest may be fined a different amount or be given some other non-custodial sentence. Public attitudes in support of the law remain strong though. A poll last year found that a majority think the punishment is too low and that only 7% of women and 25% of men think buying sex should be legalised.
StuartM
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Location: Lund, Sweden

Re: Sweden unveils tougher penalties for buying sex

Postby sam » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:14 pm

Thanks for explaining.
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