11 of 14 - Sweden vs. Germany

Sweden and Germany have taken radically different approaches to prostitution. The Swedish approach is commonly referred to as the "Nordic Model".

1999 – Sex Purchase Law 2002 – Prostitution Legalized
  • Criminalized the purchase of sex services   • Licensing of brothels, control of location
  • Decriminalized the selling of sex   • Registration of prostitutes
  • Established a program for exiting prostitution   • Health and safety regulations
GOAL:  Abolish prostitution GOAL:  Make prostitution legitimate work
  • Street prostitution decreased   • Increase in human trafficking
  • Johns reduced by 80%   • No viable indication that the law reduced crime
  • Sex trafficking decreased   • Women have no choice of customer
  • No increase in indoor prostitution   • Women have no choice when to work and no right to refuse
FOCUS:  The user FOCUS:  Control by the state



  • Of the 400,000 girls and women in prostitution in Germany only 45 registered.

  • Over 50% of the prostituted women surveyed said that they did not believe that legalization made them safer from rape and assault.  

  • 50% of the German prostitutes are illegal immigrants.

  • 89% of the prostituted women want to escape but are forced to stay because of poverty and addiction.

  • In Germany, the state has become the pimp with the sex industry listed as employment. Any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than one year can be forced to take any job, including prostitution, or lose her employment benefits.

  • No improvements to prostitutes.

Image Credit: By Oxfordian Kissuth (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons