Per Ottosson, Chief Inspector (kommissarie) and Head of Unit (enhetschef) at the County Bureau of Investigation (Länskriminalpolisen) says this to Metro regarding the trials of the six Romanian men who are suspected of smuggling and selling at least 15 women for sexual purposes in Gothenburg.
The Gothenburg case makes it evident how extremely lucrative the sex trade is. There is a new Romanian gang which, just like their predecessors, is still active and probably make millions, in the red light districts in central Gothenburg.
More sex buyers than ever have been prosecuted in Gothenburg in recent years, because the police have the right means to act. But the punishment for buying sex is too mild. So mild that the demand remains great and new women are constantly brought from poor parts of Europe to meet the demand.
The trial of the six prosecuted men is a test for the Swedish law against human trade for sexual purposes. But only a few convictions have been made in Sweden since the law was introduced in 2002. All of these convictions have involved the trade of children, which doesn’t require as strong evidence of acts of force against the victim with the purpose of exploitation.
It is very difficult to convict anyone for human trade. In the case with the Romanian men, it has become known that several of the victims, the young women have had relations with some of the pimps. This means it is difficult to prove that she was tricked into prostitution. Perhaps she even knew what her “boyfriend” planned to use her for and maybe she didn’t say No loud enough for it to be considered resisting.
The argument is surprisingly similar to one that has been used in the prosecution in Swedish rape cases: ”If she clearly did not say No, then she said Yes”.
Sweden has taken the lead for Fair Sex through the Sex Trade Law. We are an example for other European countries. But the problems still remain here, albeit on a smaller scale. Many of those who trade humans are only convicted for pimping even though many of the cases have been as brutal as depicted in ”Lilja 4-ever”. The legislation must become easier to practice, so that more people are convicted for all the crimes they commit.
And while more countries are considering introducing the Swedish law, we should intensify the punishments as proof of how serious we are about these crimes..
/Matilda for RealStars