Public Policy and Deterrents Resources
What is demand-side prohibition?
Policies to “end demand” for sex work, also called the “Swedish model” or the “Nordic model,” aim to criminalize clients of sex workers and pimps, but not sex workers themselves. Such policies can include “John Schools,” “rehabilitation” programs that aim to teach clients not to pay for sex.
Why does MASWAN oppose demand-side prohibition?
Demand-side prohibition may sound like it helps sex workers, but in fact it can create more unsafe working conditions. As sex work gets pushed underground, sex workers are less likely to access health and social services or report cases of trafficking. A study of the effects of demand-side prohibition in Sweden in 2004 found that the number of sex workers in Stockholm remained “stable” (p. 10) between 1999, right after the law was passed, and 2003. The study also suggested that sex work may simply have been driven underground, and that sex workers were more vulnerable to exploitation by clients and police. Efforts to “end demand” also divert resources away from services sex workers desperately need, like health and social services, toward expanded surveillance and policing. Ultimately, they further stigma against sex work and fail to address the needs of the most marginalized sex workers.
Further resources on public policy and deterrents
- The Real Impact of the Swedish Model on Sex Workers (Global Network of Sex Work Projects)
- End Demand Fact Sheet (Desiree Alliance)
- “Hands Off Our Clients!” (International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe)
- Moving Beyond Supply and Demand Catchphrases: Assessing the Uses and Limitations of Demand-Based Approaches in Anti-Trafficking (Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women)
- Criminalizing Clients Endangers Sex Workers and Creates Barriers to Exiting Sex Work (Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women)
Articles and Reports
- Ann Jordan, The Swedish Law to Criminalize Clients: A Failed Experiment in Social Engineering
- Purchasing Sexual Services in Sweden and the Netherlands: Legal Regulation and Experiences
- Melissa Gira Grant, Amnesty International Calls for an End to the ‘Nordic Model’ of Criminalizing Sex Workers
- Elizabeth Nolan Brown, What the Swedish Model Gets Wrong About Prostitution
- Michelle Goldberg, Swedish Prostitution Law is Spreading Worldwide: Here’s How to Improve it
- Stephanie Berger,”No End in Sight: Why the ‘End Demand’ Movement Is the Wrong Focus for Efforts to Eliminate Human Trafficking,” Harvard Journal of Law and Gender 35 (2012): 524-70.
- Stéphanie Wahab, “Evaluating the Usefulness of a Prostitution Diversion Project,” Qualitative Social Work 5:1 (2006): 67-92.
- Scot Wortley, Benedikt Fischer, and Cheryl Webster, “Vice Lessons: A Survey of Prostitution Offenders Enrolled in the Toronto John School Diversion Program,” Canadian Journal of Criminology 44:4 (2002): 369-402.
- Benedikt Fischer, Scot Wortley, Cheryl Webster et al, “The Socio-Legal Dynamics and Implications of ‘Diversion,’” Criminology and Criminal Justice 2:4 (2002): 385-410.
- Martin Monto and Steve Garcia, “Recidivism Among the Customers of Female Street Prostitutes: Do Intervention Programs Help?” Western Criminology Review 3:2 (2002): 1-10.