Panel who defend sex trade – discussion during West Pride

West Pride has spread color in Gothenburg during the past week. One point on the agenda got us on Realstars to react. It seems that when our Swedish sex-purchase law gets greater support, the pro-prostitution enthusiasts also increase their support, not surprisingly with a biased approach. An example is when RFSL had invited to a panel debate on sex trafficking at the Art Museum. Curiously, there were no forces who spoke against the sex trade, instead the panel consisted of a prostitute, a former transvestite-prostitute and a former “sex worker” who had wrote a thesis on men who sell sex to other men.

All called for the decriminalization of prostitution, like the one made in New Zealand and it is perhaps not surprising that they do not want the sex buyers to be outlawed, because then the prostitutes have to seek for another way to earn a living. Realstars opinion is that sex is not a product to sell; it is a part of someone’s identity, something that actually affects the whole person. We think people should be protected from all acts of sexual violence, and we know that prostitution leads to suffering and is the major cause of human trafficking.

The problem of stigmatization was one key issue to discuss and one of the participants did not see that the society have a negative opinion of her as a prostitute. The two others testified about a “vacuum of silence” that made them invisible in society. They did not single out any particular opposes but they did mention some feminists, the church and chauvinistic men. The emphasis was mainly on ignorance and that people do not dare to ask about prostitution. During the seminar, the panel argued that no one could prove that the Sex Purchase Act actually led to the decrease in trafficking. Should we really act on this unilateral approach with the consequences it entails? The Sex Purchase Act is an important tool and Realstars argues that Fair Sex should apply to everyone.

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