It was a policy adopted by Sweden in and it's since been copied by a host of other countries including Iceland, Canada, Norway and most recently Northern Ireland.
Those who favour decriminalisation say it removes the stigma of escodts and makes it easier for sex workers to go to the police if they need protection from violence. The European Parliament wants more member countries to adopt the model.
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Instead, he thinks the Swedes have just succeeded in pushing prostitution into more clandestine spaces, making it even more risky. The Nordic model The women's groups and anti-trafficking campaigners opposing the Amnesty motion start from the premise that most prostitutes are victims who sell sex simply to survive.
Dr Jay Levy has studied the Swedish example and he's not convinced by police figures suggesting prostitution is in decline there. The Coalition Against Trafficking In Women argues that pimps would be the only ones to benefit from decriminalising prostitution.
Other critics of the German model point to anecdotal evidence of growing s of young Romanian and Bulgarian women travelling iceeland Germany to work on the streets or even in mega-brothels. Above all, the one criticism is that it's boosted sex tourism and fuelled human trafficking to meet the demand of an expanded market.
They think the best approach to prostitution is the "Nordic model". And they can't both be right. In other words, the aim is to stifle demand.
This is where the police go after the purchasers of sex by handing out tough fines or prison sentences to punters, and leave the sex workers in peace. Felcitas Schirow, a German brothel owner and sex worker, says the law has helped give prostitutes self-confidence. It's also argued that it empowers prostitutes to strike open deals with their clients about safe sex.
But last week the paper ran a stinging editorial questioning the wisdom of the human rights group. What does the law say about paying for sex in the UK? But one academic study looking at countries argued there was a link between relaxed prostitution laws and increased trafficking rates.
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But there are critics of the Nordic model too. Germany is one of the countries which liberalised its prostitution laws, together with New Zealand and the Netherlands.
Some MPs at Westminster also believe it should replace the confusing patchwork of laws in England and Wales in summary: buying and selling sex isn't illegal but brothel-keeping, kerb-crawling and soliciting sex in a public place are. It's not just The Guardian that is upset.
Lceland are various groups across the world that support decriminalisation, such as Durbar in India. Figures on human trafficking and its relationship to prostitution are hard to establish. Several women's groups have got together with a host of big-name actresses - including Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet - to criticise Amnesty after a draft of its policy proposal was leaked.
It said Amnesty iiceland make a "serious mistake" if it advocated the decriminalisation of prostitution - a decision the group's international council will vote on later on Tuesday. The arguments for decriminalisation Amnesty's leaked proposal says decriminalisation would be "based on the human rights principle that consensual sexual conduct between adults is entitled to protection from state interference" so long as violence or child abuse or other illegal behaviour isn't involved.
One of the main reasons the Germans opted for legalisation in was the hope that it would professionalise the industry, giving prostitutes more access to benefits such as health insurance and pensions - just like in any other job.
Related Topics. An investigation in by Der Spiegel described how many of these women head to cities such as Cologne voluntarily but soon end up caught in a dangerous web they can't easily escape.
And because clients are criminalised, they are reluctant to leave any information by which they can be traced. But there's no getting around it - they each have very different approaches about how that's best achieved. About sharing image copyrightThinkstock image captionBoth sides in the debate say they are motivated by protecting the human rights of sex workers It's not often that a liberal newspaper like The Guardian rails against an organisation like Amnesty International.
They argue that human trafficking and prostitution are inextricably linked.