Awaken Position on Legalization

Awaken does not support the legalization of prostitution in Nevada and supports the implementation of the Swedish model. The principles of this model are outlined below.
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Text taken from Targeting the Sex Buyer. The Swedish Example: Stopping Prostitution and Trafficking Where It All Begins by Kajsa Claude, 2010.

In order to make money in the business of human trafficking there must be people who are willing to pay for sexual services. We refer to these people as the “demand” side of the economic equation in the business of human trafficking.

The practice of focusing on the sex buyers and neutralizing the demand for sexual services in order to combat sex trafficking is often referred to as “the Swedish example.”

In 1999, Sweden enacted a law that forbids the purchase of sexual services. This law focuses on the demand for women and children who are exploited sexually and it criminalizes the sex buyers who, typically, are men. On the other hand, the sale of sexual services is not punishable by law. It is this view of sex buyers and sex sellers that is the foundation of the Swedish model.

The idea behind the law is that the demand, primarily by men, for such services, is what sustains prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes. This law has received considerable support from the Swedish population.

The law prohibiting the purchase of sexual services is an important component of Sweden’s strategy to combat both prostitution and human trafficking. The sex buyers make human trafficking both possible and lucrative.

The goal of the Swedish law is two-fold: to convince people to abstain from committing the crime of buying sex and to establish norms under which no woman, man, girl or boy can be sold and no one has the right to sexually exploit another human being.

This is a question of values. More and more people are gaining insight into how prostitution and human trafficking are part of organized crime. This is a societal problem that touches all of us, not just the women and children who are victimized.

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