Facts about prostitution in Europe

Prostitution is a form of violence against women:

  • Between 80 and 95% of persons in prostitution have suffered some form of violence before entering the system of prostitution (rape, incest, pedophilia).
  • 62% of women in prostitution report having been raped.
  • 9 out of 10 women in prostitution would like to exit the system of prostitution but feel unable to do so.
  • 68% of women in prostitution meet the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the same range as victims of torture undergoing treatment.
  • According to Interpol, a pimp earns 110 000 euros per year per prostituted person.
  • Nevada, where procuring is decriminalised, sees the highest rates of rape compared to all US states.
  • For 10% of girls and 37% of boys interviewed in Denmark, it is normal to receive money or gifts in exchange of a blow job.

Prostitution and trafficking:

  • Globally, women constitute 85% of the victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation (prostitution).
  • Globally, 79% of reported trafficking in human beings is for sexual exploitation (prostitution).
  • In Europe, 76% of trafficking in human being is for sexual exploitation (prostitution). Women constitute 70% of victims of trafficking.
  • According to the UN, trafficking in human beings is the second biggest source of illicit profits for criminals after drugs trade.

Prostitution in Sweden and the Netherlands:

  • According to the Dutch Ministry of Justice’s study ‘Daalder’, there has been no significant improvement in the situation of persons in prostitution and the use of sedatives has increased.
  • According to the same study, in the Netherlands, options for leaving the industry were in high demand, while only 6% of municipalities offer assistance.
  • The Dutch National Police Force’s study on the sector of legalised prostitution found that between 50-90% of the women in licensed prostitution “work involuntarily”.
  • In Sweden, the number of persons exploited in street prostitution has halved since 1999, while it tripled in Denmark and Norway for the same period.
  • After ten years of implementation of the Swedish legislation, 70% of the population express full support for the law.
  • In 1996, 13.6% of Swedish men said they had bought someone for prostitution purposes. In 2008, the figure had dropped to 7.8%.