The Nordic Model, pioneered in Sweden, is a legislative approach to prostitution, which makes it illegal to purchase sexual services. Under this model, the individuals who are trafficked for commercial sex are not criminalized, and are instead offered support and social services. The aim of this model is to change society’s views of prostitution and to eventually eradicate it completely. Sweden has seen progress toward achieving this goal – the proportion of Swedish men purchasing sex has decreased since implementing the Nordic Model. In fact, research by the Swedish government indicates that street prostitution has been halved since the legislation was introduced in 1999.
Following in Sweden’s footsteps, other countries have begun to implement similar legislation such as Ireland, France, Norway, Iceland, and Canada. Recently, Israel has begun to take a step forward by introducing legislation inspired by the Nordic Model. The Task Force on Human Trafficking & Prostitution (TFHT) submitted proposed legislation called the “Criminal Prohibition of Consumption of Prostitution Services and Community Treatment Bill.” The bill consists of two parts in accordance with the Nordic Model: 1) the prohibition of purchasing sexual services and 2) protection and support for survivors. TFHT has an ongoing public petition that you can sign here to support the proposed legislation and ensure that your voice is heard in advancing this legislation in Israel.
Haley Braun, JCAST Chicago Intern