Sweden and the Netherlands: A Europe Free From Prostitution

200 women’s rights NGOs from 25 Member States and four other countries announced Brussels’ Call for “a Europe free from prostitution.” In collaboration with members of Parliament and several Ministers, the NGOs defined prostitution as violence, an obstacle to equality, a violation of human dignity and of human rights. They offered six recommendations to EU members: the suppression of repressive measures against prostituted persons, the criminalization of all forms of procuring, the development of real alternatives and exit programs for those in prostitution, the prohibition of the purchase of a sexual act, and the implementation of policies of prevention and education to promote equality and positive sexuality.  These recommendations were made in tandem with the following facts and figures:  
 
  • 62% of women in prostitution report having been raped.
  • 68% of women in prostitution meet the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the same range as victims of torture undergoing treatment.
  • According to Interpol, a pimp earns 110,000 euros per year per prostituted person.
  • Nevada, where procuring is decriminalized, sees the highest rates of rape compared to all US states.
  • Globally, women constitute 85% of the victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation (prostitution).
  • In Europe, 76% of trafficking in human being is for sexual exploitation (prostitution). Women constitute 70% of victims of trafficking.
  • According to the UN, trafficking in human beings is the second biggest source of illicit profits for criminals after drugs trade.