The Swedish model, adopted in 1999, is to prosecute the men who purchase sex, while treating the women who sell it as victims who merit social services.
Prosecution of johns has reduced demand for prostitution in Sweden, which in turn reduces market prices. That reduces the incentives for trafficking into Sweden, and the number of prostitutes seems to have declined there. A growing number of countries are concluding that the Swedish model works better than any other, and it would be wise for American states to experiment with it as well. It’s not a panacea, but cracking down on demand seems a useful way to chip away at 21st-century slavery.
~ Nicholas D. Kristof (July 14, 2010)