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United for a world free from sexual exploitation!

Extension of CAP international strategic partnership with the Government of Sweden

Paris, Tuesday 27 October 2020

CAP international, and its 33 members organisations providing direct support to more than 15 000 victims of prostitution and trafficking in 26 countries are proud to extend their strategic partnership with the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution expresses its gratitude for Sweden’s leadership and strategic support and remains determined to meet its ultimate objective of a world free from all forms of sexual exploitation. CAP int takes this opportunity to invite more States to join the efforts of Sweden and several other Governments towards the universal abolition of the prostitution system and trafficking in human beings

In 1999, Sweden was the first country in the world to adopt legislation prohibiting the purchase of sexual acts, in order to combat sexual exploitation and the commodification of bodies.

This historic law had a major impact on Swedish society. It also had an immediate effect on organized crime. Sweden has the lowest level of prostitution in Europe and police wiretaps have shown that international criminal networks consider Sweden a dead market for human trafficking.

This law has also inspired many other countries: Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Canada, France, Ireland, and Israel have followed the Swedish example by decriminalizing prostitutes and penalizing the purchase of sexual acts.

In 2014, in two separate resolutions, the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recognized the “Swedish” model as the best model for combating trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation.
In March 2019, the Swedish and French Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström and Jean-Yves le Drian launched a “common strategy for combating human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Europe and globally”[1].

The very same year, the Gender Equality Advisory Council of G7 has selected this model law among the best legislative provisions for sex equality in the world:” In 1999, with the adoption of its “Peace for Women” Act, Sweden became the first country in the world to no longer criminalize the selling of sex but only the purchase of sex. A few years later, Iceland and Norway adopted the same legislation, soon to be known as the “Nordic model”. It is worth noting that these three States, ranked every year among the top 5 of the World Economic Forum’s Index for Equality between Women and Men, have made these laws a crucial component of their gender equality policies[2]”.

CAP international and its members are mobilised at the local, domestic, regional and international level in support of victims of prostitution and trafficking. They promote the adoption of the Nordic/Abolitionist model worldwide through strategic advocacy and call on the international community in Brussels, Geneva, New-York and Vienna to stand up against the sexual exploitation of the most discriminated women and girls.

[1] https://www.government.se/statements/2019/03/joint-statement-from-the-ministry-for-foreign-affairs-in-france-and-from-the-ministry-for-foreign-affairs-in-sweden/

[2] https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/french-g7-presidency/the-biarritz-partnership-for-gender-equality/