Global Laws on Sex Trafficking


PROSTITUTION: Not the oldest “profession” but the oldest “oppression.”

There are four basic approaches to legislation on sex trafficking worldwide:

1) No policies at all: a free-for-all.

2) Various levels of legalization and regulation with the intention of making “sex work” safe.

3) Criminalization – sadly, this often means the prostituted person is made the criminal, not the buyer or the pimp. Sex trafficking is the only crime in the world in which the victims of the crime are made the criminals. There are places in the United States today where children who are not of legal age to consent to sex are arrested and charged with prostitution!

4) In 1999 Sweden came up with an innovative legislation to end sex trafficking. They criminalized the buyer of sex, and the pimp, but decriminalized the prostituted person so they were free to seek social services and legal aid. This revolutionary law, known as the “Nordic Law,” was then passed in 2009 in both Norway and Iceland. Canada, France, and Northern Ireland have all followed suit. Seeing the Police Chief in Iceland on national news refusing to implement the Nordic law because prostitution is “The Oldest Profession in the book,” a group of Icelandic women decided to take matters into their own hands and Operation Big Sister was born.