A conversation with Patrik Cederlöf, national co-ordinator against trafficking in Sweden

We have spoken to Patrik Cederlöf at the County Administrative Board in Stockholm, the authority which co-ordinates the work against human trafficking and prostitution between authorities and nonprofit organizations in Sweden.

What is your assignment?

”We have received the mandate for coordination and it is now clear that we have been given renewed trust until 2014. The goal is generally to develop and streamline the work made within and between authorities and voluntary organizations against human trafficking. It’s about transferring knowledge, different methods and models.”

The  Swedish sex purchase law is a tool in this work. The law was initially meant as a position of society and the willingness to strengthen equality. The law has become an effective framework against sex trafficking, due to the increase of human trafficking, Patrik says. Even though there has been intense debates regarding the sex purchase law, Patrik Cederlöf is still one of the people who stands behind it. He has great respect for every opinion and points out that viable experience of prostitution leads to supporting the Swedish model.

The so called concepts “free will” and “the happy prostitute” are myths. Prostitution and sex trafficking is something a society should not accept.

What is the challenge?

During the first years the challenge was to coordinate some public agencies; The Prosecution Authority, the Police, the Social Services and the Migration Board. It’s about transferring specific knowledge and in the agencies locating certain people, who can and wants to create awareness for this issue. These individuals have acted as a center of knowledge in these agencies. They have offered support to their colleagues and made them aware of human trade.

What’s the next step?

The next step is more ambitious and will formalize all work in a memorandum of understanding. The involved agencies and non-profit organizations will formalize their commitment in it, as in a form of an agreement. The agreement also involves other Scandinavian and Baltic countries.

More information on Swedish Institute web page.

Emmanuel Roux, RealStars

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