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Scandinavia Today / Sweden


The Europe crisis pushing more into forced prostitution in Sweden

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Nordic countries have become an increasingly attractive market for forced prostitution in recent years blamed on the euro crisis in southern Europe. The number of trafficking victims in Sweden has risen sharply, according to new European statistics.

New figures from the European statistics agency Eurostat show a very sharp increase in the number of trafficking victims in Sweden. In 2008, the Swedish authorities registered 21 cases where people had been sold and forced into prostitution or forced labour. By 2010 the figure was already up by 74 cases.

This is about more than tripled in just two years. Moreover, the dark figure is expected to be substantial. Compared to other countries in Europe, the numbers are still relatively low in Sweden. However, the increase in recent years is much higher than elsewhere in Europe.

This also applies to Sweden's neighbours - Denmark and Finland. The police and other authorities working on human trafficking issues attribute the increase largely to the fact that the Nordic countries fared better through the crisis than Greece, Spain and other countries, mainly in Southern Europe.

"Low pressure in the economy of Southern  Europe has meant that up here in northern Europe, as we have a better economy with a richer market, everyone understands even those who have these organizations that to make money on the sex industry, they have to move there where there is a strong market. They compare the price paid by customers here in Scandinavia is far higher, compared to what is paid for the same service in the south of Europe," says Per Hjort, police inspector at the Section against sex trafficking at Stockholm police.

Another reason for the increase is that the police have become better at investigating the cases means that more would be hidden cases are now exposed.

Since it is known that human trafficking is usually organized by international gangs, Swedish police officials have called for the need of better cooperation between national police organizations in order to combat it.

by Team

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