NORWAY - FEWER STREET PROSTITUTES SINCE BAN
The number of street prostitutes has decreased noticeably in Oslo a year after Norway banned the purchase of sexual favours, according to estimates published Friday. The Oslo-based Pro Centre, a publicly funded social service centre that works with male and female prostitutes, estimates there was a 50-per-cent drop between 2008 and 2009 - the first year the ban was in force.
"We estimate that roughly 500 people sell sex on the streets of Oslo," Liv Jessen told the German Press Agency dpa.
The number of prostitutes who work indoors, for instance from flats or hotels, was estimated at some 900, down 16 per cent. Many are linked up with clients via the internet or newspaper advertisements.
Jessen said however the drop in the number of street prostitutes was not the same as a decline in demand.
"Each prostitute might have more customers," Jessen added, saying there was need for more detailed research. Most prostitutes are foreign nationals including from Nigeria and eastern Europe. Some stay for longer periods of time, others for "a week, 10 days to sell sex and then they move on," Jessen said.
As in neighbouring Sweden, the prostitute who offers these services is not punished. The Swedish law was introduced in 1999.