Sweden’s official evaluation of the law, published in 2010, concluded that from 1998 to 2008 street prostitution in the country fell by half, largely as a result of the legislation.But Ms Green says the experiences of other sex workers she meets often back up Amnesty’s argument that criminalising the purchase of sex harms prostitutes by making their clients stressed and nervous, and driving the trade underground.“We didn’t do anything wrong.” That’s a lot better than the situation in Qatar, where she also sometimes works and where she risks a 25-year sentence.“Many friends of ours are still in jail,” she says with a sigh. But in our work we get so much money there.” She thinks Sweden’s model is counterproductive.
“If you stay too long then you don’t get any customers – you have to be ‘fresh’,” she say as she laughs and high fives Paula.
“If I see a client who sells sex in the street and who has to make a really quick deal with one of customers, and he does something really bad to her because she didn’t have the time to see that he was high on drugs, then I can see that this is not a good aspect of the sex-purchase law.
Perhaps you’re in a stressful relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Less than an hour before she arrives in the lobby of a budget business hotel in the centre of Malmo, Cora has witnessed Sweden’s much-praised sex-purchase law in action.
The 29-year-old Polish woman has been selling sex on and off in the country for a decade, but when the police turned up outside the apartment she was renting on Wednesday, arresting the Swedish man inside and grilling her about how she runs her business, it was something new. For us, it’s the first time like that,” she says between gulps of wheat beer. He was a really nice guy and he will get one month to six years [the maximum prison sentence is in fact one year].