1. GENERAL INFORMATION
The first measures to combat trafficking in human beings in Sweden were introduced in the framework of the 1998 National Action Plan against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. There has been a National Rapporteur on trafficking in human beings since 1998. The task has been assigned to the National Police Board.
The general focus in Sweden has been on combating sexual exploitation, which is reflected in the approach towards prostitution. Purchasing sexual services was prohibited in 1999. The first National Action Plan dealing with trafficking in both children and adults was adopted in 2008.
According to the National Criminal Police (NCP) human trafficking is mainly a phenomenon occurring in urban areas, even if it also exists in smaller communities in Sweden. It is difficult to make an exact assessment of how many persons have become victims of human trafficking during 2007-2008. This is mainly due to the fact that the numbers of victims identified depend upon how much resource the Police allocate to investigate human trafficking.
However, the available information shows that the women and girls who have become victims of human trafficking predominantly come from Estonia, Russia, Romania and Poland. They have generally been between 13 and 36 years of age. Some women and girls come from Albania, Bulgaria, Nigeria, Thailand, Latvia, the Czech Republic and the Ukraine. Most of the women and girls come from minority groups in their home countries or from a less favourable home environment.
Trafficking in human beings for sexual purposes
The National Criminal Investigation Department can confirm that no large groups of foreign women or girls have become established either in street prostitution or on the Internet in Sweden.
In 2011, two persons were convicted of human trafficking for sexual purposes. On the other hand, about sixteen persons were convicted of aggravated or procuring and one for aiding procuring that was in the nature of human trafficking.
Information received by the police during 2011 shows that the foreign women and girls, recruited for prostitution purposes in Sweden, originate primarily from Eastern Europe (primarily, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Romania and Hungary) Thailand and Nigeria. The people who were behind the activities investigated in 2011 were men and also some
women from Romania, Finland, Iraq, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Nigeria. Human trafficking taking place from Nigeria has been a major problem for some years throughout large parts of Europe. In Sweden also, mainly in Gothenburg and Stockholm, the police have noticed a small increase in the numbers of Nigerian women who are being
exploited in prostitution. The National Criminal Investigation Department estimates that the number of women from
Thailand who are being exploited for sexual purposes in Sweden and other European countries has increased over the past three years. The methods used include some Swedishmen exploiting Thai women through marriage or through visitors' visas. Once the women are in Sweden (or in another European country), they may be exploited for sexual purposes in places such as apartments, hotel rooms or Thai massage parlors. In addition, it seems that a large number of women who have been exploited for prostitution purposes in Europe have been brought in on Swedish Schengen visas, issued by the Swedish Embassy in Bangkok. In 2010-2011, the National Criminal Investigation Department has also received information about several cases of procuring in which girls and women with mental impairment have been
Other forms of trafficking in human beings
Other exploitative purposes referred to in the clause on human trafficking in Sweden's Penal Code, include exploitation of the victim in active military service, for the removal of organs, forced labour, or other activity in a situation that places that places the person in distress. During 2011, one person was convicted of human trafficking for non-sexual purposes. In addition, 62 reports were made to the police in connection with human trafficking for nonsexual purposes. Some of these concern British and Irish tarmac and paving layers in Sweden, but also situations in which people have been forcibly brought to Sweden to beg or commit criminal activities. Some reports concerned trafficking in human beings for forced labour related to berry pickers from Bulgaria and Thailand. The berry pickers are often victims of 2 non-serious recruiting companies in their home countries as well as the companies buying the berries. In some cases, traffickers control the berry pickers by threats and violence if the
pickers for example do not hand over their travelling documents. The berry pickers are also installed in very bad living conditions with lack of food and water. Berry pickers and asphalt layers have also been threatened by traffickers to steal if they don’t work hard enough. As with human trafficking for sexual purposes and forced labour, it is hard to give precise figures for the scope of human trafficking to, through and within Sweden. In 2010-2011, however, it has been confirmed that people are being taken to Sweden to beg and commit criminal acts. This type of information mainly concerns victims and perpetrators from Central and Eastern Europe, primarily Bulgaria and Romania.
Trafficking in minors
In the preliminary investigations carried out in Sweden during 2011 into human trafficking for sexual purposes and similar crimes such as procuring/aggravated procuring, none of the victims were below the age of twelve. So far, all of the child victims of human trafficking for sexual purposes in Sweden were, with one exception, girls aged 16-17 years. A small number of investigations initiated in Sweden have focused on human trafficking in which girls and boys from south-eastern Europe were exploited for the purposes of theft and begging. Some of these children have been exploited for the purpose of theft at a number of locations in Sweden, but also in other European countries.
In recent years, Europol has provided information about suspected human trafficking with the purpose of committing fraud against the welfare system, especially related to the UK.
Perpetrators recruited and transported victims from one EU country to another, where they applied for registration of the victims in the population registry or equivalent. The purpose was to gain access to and payments to victims via the national welfare system. The perpetrators subsequently conﬁscated payments and other beneﬁts. Intelligence and preliminary investigations led the police to suspect that similar activities were also taking place in Sweden; however, the legal proceedings initiated were dismissed due to lack of solid evidence.
In a judgment in June 2012, the Administrative Court of Appeal in the County of Stockholm held that a 16-year old boy immediately should be apprehended based on indications that he risked being removed from Sweden for the purpose of taking part in an armed conﬂict. The Court based its decision on the fact that the boy had been drawn into a criminal organisation where he risked being recruited into war service. A preliminary investigation about trafﬁcking in human beings was initiated.
New data - Trafficking for the purpose of exploitation of foreign berry-pickers in Sweden
In Sweden, seasonal commercial berry picking is carried out largely by temporary foreign workers during the summer and early autumn months. The berries are sold to the food and pharmaceutical industries in Sweden and abroad. In recent years, collaboration between the different players within the industry increased, leading to a higher level of specialisation and a marked division of roles between those involved. Certain players function as purchasers on site in the forests and are in direct contact with the berry pickers, while others act as wholesalers, and are responsible for selling on the merchandise to Swedish and foreign customers.
In 2011, the Swedish police received information about suspected trafficking of individuals ﬁom Bulgaria to Sweden for the purpose of berry picking. The investigation disclosed that foreign workers were promised opportunities and earnings that were not available upon their arrival in Sweden, or at the end of their contracts. The workers spoke of no or very low wages, poor accommodation standards, but also of an acute lack of food and water. Some employers exercised or threatened violence when the berry pickers refused to hand over their passport documents, telephones and other possessions. Other employers made it clear that unless they picked sufficient quantities of berries, the male workers would be forced to carry out thefts, and the female worker would be exploited in prostitution. Occasionally, foreign workers arrived in Sweden on their own initiative, or were deceived by marketing agencies in their home country. The marketing agencies charged a fee for assisting the berry pickers to enter Sweden, where they were left without employment or any other ﬁnancial. means, in debt and with no knowledge of Swedish employment laws and conditions, or language.
In the fall of 2011, The Hudiksvall District Court remanded a Bulgarian couple on suspicion of human trafficking. The couple was suspected of having forced seven individuals from Bulgaria to travel to Sweden for the purpose of being picking in 2010. Several of the victims testiﬁed to the police about having been assaulted, beaten and forced to commit crimes if they failed to pick sufﬁcient quantities of berries. The perpetrators also threatened female victims with exploitation in prostitution. In June 2012, two perpetrators were sentenced to ten months in prison, plus a ten-year exclusion order for human trafficking for forced labour purposes.
A summary of this text is available in the official language of the country.
2. INSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK
All forms of trafficking in human beings are prohibited. The specific offence has existed in legislation in Sweden since 2002, when legislation that imposed criminal liability for trafficking for sexual purposes was introduced in the Criminal Code. The law was amended in 2004 to include all forms of trafficking in persons, including trafficking within national borders. This legislation prescribes penalties for human trafficking from two to ten years' imprisonment.
The penal legislation against trafficking in human beings has recently been subject to a review. The Government has presented a bill to the Parliament with several proposals in order to make the legislation more effective. The bill also proposes that the double criminality requirement should not apply to trafficking offences outside of Sweden. The Government further proposes that the Parliament should approve the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings and the legal amendments in the Secrecy Act that is required in order to ratify the Convention. The legislation is proposed to come into force on 1 July 2010.
Swedish legislation is in compliance with Directive 2004/81 of 29 April 2004 regarding residence permits for victims of trafficking in human beings. The Swedish Aliens Act was amended in 2007 in order to facilitate proceedings against crime in general, by permitting witnesses and injured parties to stay legally in Sweden. Sweden has a reflection period of 30 days.
Furthermore, the opportunity to issue a temporary residence permit to foreign victims of trafficking in Sweden was also introduced in 2004. The permit is for six months initially, but may be extended upon application by the prosecutor, based on investigation needs. This provision was further amended in 2007 and it requires witnesses to cooperate with law enforcement authorities and to break off all links with the individuals who are suspected of a crime.
Under the Prohibition of the Purchase of a Sexual Service Act, a person who obtains sexual relations in exchange for payment will be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment for a maximum period of six months. The law is intended to reduce the demand for sexual services and consequently to prevent trafficking for sexual exploitation (see 5. Additional information).
National Strategy/National Action Plan
The Swedish government adopted its first National Action Plan Combating Prostitution and Trafficking in Human Beings for Sexual Purposes in July 2008. The Action Plan (for the period 2008-2010) covers five priority areas and includes 36 measures to fight prostitution and trafficking for sexual purposes. The five priority areas are:
- Protection and support for people at risk;
- More emphasis on preventive work;
- Higher standards and improved efficiency in the justice system;
- Increased national and international cooperation;
- A higher level of knowledge and awareness.
Over 214 million SEK has been spent on the implementation of the measures envisaged by the Action Plan. A number of governmental agencies, NGOs and other organisations are commissioned to carry out activities deriving from the measures of the Action Plan.
Moreover, the Action Plan aims to intensify outreach activities targeting those exposed to prostitution or trafficking for sexual purposes, and give greater priority to sheltered housing, treatment centres and other forms of support and protection. Evaluation and training of professionals are key elements of the Plan. An evaluation of the Action Plan will be undertaken by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention in 2011 and presented to the Parliament.
A draft Action Plan against trafficking for other forms of exploitation than sexual purposes has been developed by the Ministry of Labour, and is currently being considered.
Coordination of anti-trafficking actions at a national level
There is no single ministry responsible for coordination of anti-trafficking activities within the Government Office in Sweden. The National Action Plan was developed by the Ministry of Integration and Gender Equality. Other competent ministries include the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The County Administrative Board of Stockholm has a National Coordinator (NC) against prostitution and trafficking, appointed in January 2009 and for the duration of the National Action Plan. The National Coordinator is responsible for efforts related to human trafficking for sexual exploitation, and reports to the Ministry of Integration and Gender Equality.
The County Administrative Board of Stockholm administers a National Methodology Support Team, which is composed of governmental actors with extensive experience of anti-trafficking work. Agencies such as the police, social services, the Migration Board and the Prosecution Authority are part of the group.
The Methodology Support Team is a resource for governmental agencies, municipalities and other organisations to help develop and support their work operatively, as well as enhance agencies' knowledge of prostitution and trafficking issues. Activities include training sessions and seminars for professionals as well as development of nationwide information material and data. Currently the County Administrative Boards in Sweden are jointly developing a national strategy for nationwide collaboration on trafficking.
The NC is mandated to develop and streamline existing regional cooperation networks and expand them into a national network. It is further responsible for strengthening cooperation between the regions through the 21 County Administrative Boards of Sweden, and to disseminate information and raise awareness among actors involved in this field.
National Rapporteur or equivalent mechanism
The Swedish National Police Board in collaboration with the person holding the function of National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human beings supervise the efforts of the police authorities to prevent and combat human trafficking, and how well they use their resources, and their abilities to investigate cases of human trafficking for sexual purposes, procuring and the purchase of sexual services. In 2012, ﬁve police districts were inspected. The inspections focused on:
- the implementation of the strategy for preventing and combating human trafficking, procuring and the purchase of sexual services;
- how the police authorities deal with these types of crimes within the framework of the strategic and operational management;
- the perseverance of the police authorities over time to combat these crimes;
- the ability of the police authorities to combat these crimes and the methods that they use to expose human trafficking for the purpose of prostitution, procuring, and the purchase of sexual services; and
- the extent to which reported crimes result in convictions. A report from the 2012 inspections is under production, and will be published in mid-2013.
3. IMPLEMENTATION OF ANTI-TRAFFICKING POLICY
Efforts to prevent human trafficking in Sweden have included awareness raising campaigns to reduce the demand for sexual services.
During 2008, the local government in Stockholm conducted an awareness raising campaign targeted at taxi drivers and hotel and restaurant personnel who are likely to come in contact with victims of trafficking. Posters and television advertisements provided information on how the public can report suspected instances of trafficking.
An especially noteworthy campaign was the joint Nordic Baltic campaign against trafficking in women carried out during 2002-2003 in the eight Nordic and Baltic countries under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Campaign aimed to raise awareness and increase public knowledge about trafficking in women and to initiate discussions about the problem in the region.
Assistance and support provided to victims
Protection and assistance to victims of human trafficking are provided by the government and the municipalities. According to the Swedish Social Services Act, the Social Welfare Committees in the municipalities are responsible for providing help and support to victims of crime. Municipalities often provide this support in close cooperation with civil society actors; many shelters, for example, are run by NGOs such as the Swedish Association of Women's Shelters. However, the municipalities are responsible for the follow-up of all measures taken. The municipalities receive special funding annually for measures to reinforce and develop their work to support and assist women subjected to violence and children who have witnessed violence.
The services offered to victims of trafficking are the same as those for victims of crime in general. However, there are some specific services targeted at victims of human trafficking. Victims of trafficking for sexual purposes get assistance from specialised prostitution units in the big cities.
The right to information
The police and the public prosecutor will usually be able to give the victim the legal help he or she needs. If the victim has a poor knowledge of Swedish or a serious speech or hearing impediment, he or she is entitled to free assistance from an interpreter during the investigation and the trial. This service is also available for any other contacts that the victim might need to have with other authorities. In brief, the police and the public prosecutor are obliged to inform the victim about the following:
- The possibilities of claiming damages and compensation for criminal injuries;
- The prosecutor is, if the victims so request, usually obliged to prepare and present the claim for damages in court;
- The regulations governing visiting bans, legal counsel for the injured party, and support persons;
- How to apply for legal aid and advice;
- Authorities and organisations offering additional support and assistance;
- The investigation not being initiated or being discontinued;
- Whether to bring a legal action or not.
The right to legal counsel for the injured party
A legal adviser shall safeguard the interests of the injured party and provide support and help to him or her. When a preliminary investigation has been initiated, a special victim’s legal adviser shall be appointed in cases involving inter alia:
- Crimes under Chapter 6 of the Penal Code (sexual crimes), unless it is evident that the injured party has no need of such assistance;
- Crimes under Chapters 3 or 4 of the Penal Code (crimes against life and health as well as peace and liberty, including trafficking), for which a sentence of imprisonment can be imposed, or under Chapter 8, sections 5 or 6 of the Penal Code or an attempt, preparation or conspiracy to commit such crimes, if, in the light of the injured party’s personal relationship to the suspect or other circumstances, it can be assumed that the injured party is in need of such assistance;
- Another crime for which a sentence of imprisonment can be imposed, if, in the light of the injured party’s personal relationship to the suspect or other circumstances, it can be assumed that the injured party is in need of such assistance.
The Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority is responsible for assessing state compensation, administering the Fund for Victims of Crime and acting as an expert centre. Furthermore, the authority is running a number of projects in order to develop crime victim work in Sweden.
As part of the Government Action plan for combating prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes, the Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority in 2008 was commissioned by the Government to carry out a study on compensation from the state to victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. The objective of the study was to find routines for payments that will ensure that persons abroad who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation in Sweden actually receive the payment of state compensation they are entitled to. The study was also to include a comparison of corresponding routines in other member states of the EU and in Norway. The results of the study were presented on 1 February 2010.
Protection, rehabilitation, safe return and national help
As instructed by the Government, the National Board of Health and Social Welfare (NBHSW) has drafted guidelines to the municipalities to support the application of the legislation concerning the work of the social services. The NBHSW will also in the near future present a handbook and a website in order to ensure adequate and uniform support to the victims in accordance with their needs. An important part of the work is to develop the co-operation with non-governmental organisations. As part of the Government Action plan for combating prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes, the NBHSW has also been commissioned to produce training materials for professionals that work with people in prostitution, for example staff in health care, the social services, youth service clinics and sheltered housing.
Furthermore, the two national organisation for women’s and girls’ shelters in Sweden work together in a nationwide project with the objective to build capacity, knowledge and create new routines at shelters designed for women and girls, to provide female victims of trafficking with professional and adequate care and protection. The project is carried out in collaboration with other NGOs as well as governmental organisations working in Sweden to combat trafficking for sexual purposes.
The County Administrative Board of Stockholm has been commissioned to develop rehabilitation programs for victims of trafficking for sexual purposes and prostitution. The rehabilitation programs aim to empower victims of trafficking to create a better future for themselves, by identifying what basic conditions and resources are needed for them to gain access to education and the regular labour market. These rehabilitation programs are tailor made to meet individual needs and provide support for trafficking victims whether they stay in Sweden or return to their home country.
The County Administrative Board of Stockholm also runs a safe return project, funded and commissioned by the Government. The County Administrative Board of Stockholm plans, coordinates and develops measures for safe returns for victims of trafficking to their home countries. The project’s objectives are to make trafficking victims’ return safe, efficient and adequately organised so as to avoid the risk of re-trafficking. The project aims to provide victims with opportunities to start a new life when they are back in their home country. The project works closely with NGOs and governmental bodies in countries of origin and in transit states, among other things to create routines for safe returns.
The Swedish Government funds a national help line for victims of violence and sexual abuse, including trafficking. The help line is open around the clock, every day of the year. Calls are free of charge, the caller can be anonymous and staff observes full confidentiality. A call to the help line does not show up on the telephone bill. The phone service is available in a number of languages, including languages spoken in the countries that are most commonly countries of origin for victims of trafficking in Sweden.
Victims of trafficking may be granted a temporary residence permit for a reflection period of 30 days, upon application from the official in charge of the preliminary criminal investigation. An initial residence permit for six months, upon application of the official in charge of an investigation, may be renewed depending upon investigation needs. This provision was amended in 2007, and it requires witnesses and victims to co-operate with law enforcement and to sever all links with the individuals that are suspected of a crime.
In total 23 persons were granted a temporary residence permit in 2009 due to preliminary investigations or main hearings of criminal cases.
Special protection measures for children
The first measures to combat trafficking in human beings were introduced in the framework of the 1998 National Action Plan against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. In 2007, theMinistry of Health and Social Affairs broadened the scope of the National Action Plan for Safeguarding Children from Sexual Exploitation to non-commercial forms of sexual exploitation.
The National Action Plan includes several measures with a view to enhancing protection and support for children and young people who have suffered or are vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
ECPAT Sweden has launched a telephone hotline where suspicions of trafficking in children can be reported.
Preventive activities targeting children and youth in Sweden
As an example of preventive measures targeting children and youth, the National Board of Youth Affairs has been commissioned to intensify preventive work among young people who risk being exposed to sexual exploitation, by providing training on the risk of sexual exploitation of young people, targeting staff working with young people, and developing methodological material on sexual exploitation for use by various national organisations, along with other activities that target children and young people.
Investigation and prosecution
Multidisciplinary groups, special units, police groups etc.
The National Police Board and the National Criminal Police have specialised staff focusing on counter trafficking work. Specialised police units dealing with human trafficking cases for sexual exploitation and related crimes are operative in the cities of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
In Stockholm, the Commission against Trafficking in Human Beings within the Stockholm Police has about 25 staff and works as a support unit for other police authorities in Sweden. The Commission deals with trafficking for sexual exploitation and related crimes, while the Border Police are in charge of cases of trafficking for labour exploitation and trafficking of children for other purposes than sexual exploitation.Cases are handled with the assistance of the National Criminal Police if appropriate. In Gothenburg and Malmö, the distinction of mandates for different forms of human trafficking does not exist.
The special law enforcement units work jointly with a social worker from the local social welfare authority. The social worker's main responsibility is to ensure that victims have access to all necessary assistance.
Within the Prosecution Authority the International Public Prosecution Offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö are responsible for leading preliminary investigations and prosecuting trafficking cases. Within these offices four prosecutors are specially assigned to this task.
The Prosecution Development Centre in Gothenburg has been given the responsibility to carry through the Government´s National Action Plan on trafficking within the Prosecution Authority. This is done within a special project and concerns issues on both operational and strategic levels. The project has resulted in the appointment of the four specially assigned prosecutors; basic training regarding trafficking available for all prosecutors; and specialised training in trafficking issues for prosecutors serving at the International Public Prosecution Offices.
Other important work concerns method development and the monitoring of case law. As an example, the Centre has produced a handbook/legal manual on trafficking, in order to make preliminary investigations on trafficking more uniform and efficient. The latest manual is a supplement to the continuous legal analysis by the Prosecution Authority which has resulted in several legal reports and manuals on trafficking.
Latest numbers of prosecutions and convictions
Trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation
During 2007-2008, one person was convicted for trafficking in human beings for sexual purposes. In addition, one person was convicted for instigating trafficking in human beings for sexual purposes. Another 22 persons were convicted for procuring. In2009, two persons were convicted for trafficking and one for aiding trafficking for the purpose of exploitation in begging. In addition, seven persons were convicted for gross procuring, three for procuring and one for attempt to procure.
The available information shows that the women and girls that have become victims of human trafficking predominantly have their origin in Estonia, Russia, Romania, and Poland. They have generally been between 13 and 36 years of age. Some women and girls also have their origins in Albania, Bulgaria, Nigeria, Thailand, Latvia, the Czech Republic and the Ukraine. Most of the women and girls come from minority groups in their home countries or from a less favourable home environment.
Many of the perpetrators behind human trafficking-related activities investigated during 2007-2008 have had strong connections to the country of origin of the victim. The majority of the perpetrators have stayed or lived in Sweden for a long time and also speak Swedish.
Trafficking in human beings for other forms of exploitation
In 2007, a total of 35 reports were established by the Police concerning trafficking for labour exploitation and in 2008, eight reports. In February 2010, two men were convicted for trafficking for labour exploitation concerning two young men that they exploited for thefts in Sweden.
In 2007, the NCP’s Intelligence Section noted features of trafficking in human beings within the multicriminal activities performed by some British and Irish asphalt and stone workers, so called travellers, in Sweden and other European countries. In 2007, sixteen persons on different occasions made contact with the British Embassy in Sweden in order to get assistance to travel back to the United Kingdom. They informed the Embassy that they had been exploited by other people for the purpose of doing asphalt and stone work for different private subjects around Sweden. These persons were in most cases men living outside the community or men who were marginalised, for instance without a permanent address or with mental disabilities. The victims were given real or false travel documentation that were often taken away upon arrival to the country of destination.
Trafficking in children
In trafficking investigations conducted during 2007 and 2008, no victims have been identified who were under the age of twelve years. All child victims have been girls between 16 and 17 years of age. A few criminal investigations have concerned children from South Eastern Europe who have been trafficked for the purposes of stealing and begging. Some of these boys and girls have been exploited for stealing in several places in Sweden as well as in other places in Europe.
The information gathered suggests that a common method of recruitment is that traffickers contact parents living in poverty in South Eastern Europe, for instance Bulgaria and Romania, to “rent” or buy their child, and then exploit the child by forcing them to participate in theft, begging or prostitution. The children, often between 10-14 years of age, are not allowed to attend school, but are trained to steal in shops and pick pockets. Often the traffickers are taking advantage of the age of the children in order to avoid criminal punishment and registration in criminal records. Sometimes these children are provided with multiple identities, which makes monitoring of the phenomenon more difficult.
Child sex tourism
During 2004-2007, there were four documented cases of suspected sexual exploitation of children where the suspects have been of Swedish origin.
See also 3.2 under residence permits.
Latest initiatives/activities related to anti-trafficking policy
Demand reduction: The Swedish Penal Code offence (Chapter 6: Sexual Crimes, section ll) that prohibits the purchase of a sexual service has been in force and successfully implemented for fourteen years. As the Chancellor of Justice-led Special Inquiry into the effects of the Law concluded in its 2010 report, the ban on the purchase of sexual services functions as an effective barrier to the establishment of organised criminal networks involved in trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation and prostitution in Sweden. Over the years, the Swedish National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking has outlined, in detail, the methods for implementation, the reasons for and evidence of these effects in her annual reports on the situation of human trafficking in Sweden.
During many years, representatives of governments, parliaments, law enforcement and academic institutions have visited Sweden to study the implementation of the law and accompanying preventative, protective and prosecution measures. Lately, the National Rapporteur has met with ministers and parliamentarians from France, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada, Northern Ireland, Finland etc. As a result of these, lawmakers in many of these countries in Europe and internationally have taken initiatives to prevent the trafficking of human beings for the purpose of prostitution through laws and actions to reduce the demand. It is the ﬁrm belief of the Swedish National Rapporteur that it is overdue for the European Union to take a ﬁrm stand against the purchase of a sexual service, and any other measures, such as the legalization or decriminalization of prostitution activities that create attractive markets for and encourages the establishment of organized crime network and trafficking of women and girls for the purpose of prostitution from countries such as Bulgaria and Romania.
National Referral Mechanism
There is no National Referral Mechanism in Sweden. Responsibilities applying on Swedish authorities are built into the administrative system.
The County Administrative Board of Stockholm has a central role as a national co-ordinator of regional and national activities targeting trafficking for sexual purposes and prostitution, including work by NGO’s and other actors in civil society. The Board has a National Coordinator (NC) against prostitution and trafficking, appointed in January 2009 and for the duration of the National Action Plan. As part of its national co-ordination work the County Administrative Board of Stockholm administers a National Methodology Support Team, which is composed of governmental, operational, actors that have extensive experience of anti-trafficking work. Agencies such as the police, social services, the Migration Board, and the office of the public prosecutor are part of the group.
The Methodology Support Team is also a strategic resource for governmental agencies, municipalities and other organisations to help develop and support their work operatively, as well as enhance agencies knowledge of prostitution and trafficking issues. Activities include among other things training sessions and seminars for professionals, and development of nation wide information material and data.
The Methodology Support Team has elaborated guidelines, a national strategy, that refers to mechanisms and procedures designed for the comprehensive assistance and transnational support of trafficked persons.
4. EU AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Sweden takes an active part in this work at EU level and within the Council of Europe and the United Nations. It also participates in regional collaboration in the Nordic and Baltic regions.
The European Union
The Swedish presidency of the European Union in 2009 made actions against trafficking in human beings a high priority, not least in the EU’s external dimension. This resulted in an Action Oriented Paper agreed upon by the JHA Council on 1 December 2009. Furthermore, a conference, Towards EU Global Action against Trafficking in Human Being,s was held on the EU anti-trafficking Day 19-20 October. It focused on cooperation with third countries of origin for human trafficking, and third countries through which victims are trafficked.
Eastern Europe, the Baltic Sea Region and the Balkans
Examples of Sweden’s support of regional initiatives include support of Save the Children in Eastern Europe, where work is carried out to prevent child trafficking through counselling, study courses, vocational training and economic subsidies to girls in Romania who have returned there after having been trafficked to other countries. This support includes information and training for police and other authorities likely to come into contact with child trafficking victims. Work in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and Romania includes child protection and the dissemination of information through national reports and the media.
In Albania, public servants at central and local levels – including school personnel, staff at youth centres, and representatives for anti-trafficking organisations - have been provided with training and information materials on children and young people who have been victims of trafficking.
Sweden is part of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings. The Task Force works to facilitate and promote coordination, exchange of knowledge, results and best practices between existing local, regional, national and international efforts, to help ensure that a multi-dimensional and cross-sectoral approach is applied in and between countries in the Baltic Sea Region, and to stimulate and propose additional efforts.
Sweden is also active in the Baltic Sea Task Force on Organised Crime (BSTF) which was set up in 1996 under Swedish chairmanship with a view to strengthen operational co-operation in the region. Since then a number of operational projects and intelligence projects have been carried out, including on trafficking in human beings.
The Swedish Government supports the Expert Group for Cooperation on Children at Risk (WGCC), which is a group of senior officials from the ministries responsible for children’s issues in the member countries to the CBSS and the European Commission.
During 2005- 2008, Sweden participated in a regional initiative implemented under the auspices of the Nordic-Baltic Project. The project had among its objectives to help build a network to facilitate regional referral for female victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. The Nordic Pilot Project for the Support, Protection, Safe Return and Rehabilitation of Women Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings for Sexual Exploitationwas implemented by the European Women’s Lobby. Countries involved were Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.
International Development Cooperation
Sweden’s efforts to combat trafficking through international development cooperation are based on the government's strategic document “Poverty and Trafficking in Human Beings” (2003). In the document, a series of guidelines are provided. Counter measures should be focused on the worst and most prevalent forms of trafficking, i.e. trafficking of women and children for sexual purposes and trafficking for labour exploitation, in particular forced labour and child work. In 2005, a review of the strategic document's implementation was published. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is continuously working according to this document. It recommended that:
- More emphasis should be put on prevention;
- There should be a clearer focus on empowerment;
- The number of cooperation partners should be extended;
- Sustainability of measures should be put more atthe forefront;
- Boys, men, refugees and displaced persons should be included;
- The geographical spread of the measures should be increased;
- The link between trafficking and organised crime should be more strongly emphasised;
- A number of evaluations should be initiated.
Sweden has also taken many initiatives to combat human trafficking in its regional cooperation with Africa and Asia.
Implementation of the Directive 2011/36/EU
The penal legislation against trafficking in human beings has recently been subject to a review. The Government has presented a bill to the Parliament with several proposals in order to make the penal legislation against trafficking in human beings more effective. The bill also proposes that the double criminality requirement should not apply to trafficking offences. The legislation came into force on 1 July 2010. Swedish legislation is in compliance with the Council Directive 2004/8/EC, regarding the reflection period granted to victims of trafficking.
Unlike in most countries in the EU, we have already implemented comprehensive measures to discourage the demand. However, we are currently dealing with the following challenges:
- Establish the extent of the demand for human organs for the purpose of transplantation. We have some intelligence concerning "organ tourism" to countries such as India for example.
- Establish the extent of the demand for cheap labour.
- Develop secure and confidential police and prosecutorial cooperation with police forces in countries of origin where there may be high levels of corruption and/or where organized
crime elements are believed to have infiltrated the local police force.
- Accessing information about traffickers/organized crime networks that publish advertisements for the sale of women and children for the purpose of prostitution on internet websites that are hosted on servers that are located in other countries.
5. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Since January 1999 purchase of – and attempt to purchase – a sexual service has constituted a criminal offence in Sweden. The punishment is a fine or imprisonment for at most six months. The offence comprises all forms of sexual services, whether they are purchased on the street, in brothels or in so-called massage-institutes, etc. Both buyer and seller can be either man or woman. Sexual service includes intercourse but also other kinds of sexual relations. Payment can of course be money, but may also consist of for example alcohol or drugs. The provision applies also to a person who takes advantage of a sexual service paid for by another person.
The provision marks Sweden’s attitude towards prostitution where prostitution is a form of exploitation of human beings and constitutes a significant social problem. According to the Swedish government, the provision is meant to discourage people from buying sex. The person who sells sexual services is not punished.
According to The National Criminal Investigation Department, the law works as a barrier for traffickers wanting to do business in Sweden.
In April 2008, the Swedish government appointed an inquiry to evaluate the application of the provision and its effects. The purpose of the evaluation was to examine how the legislation works in practice and what the effects have been on prostitution and trafficking in human beings for sexual purposes in Sweden. According to the report delivered in July 2010, there is nothing that indicates that the prevalence of prostitution has increased in recent years. Nor is there any information that suggests that prostitutes formerly exploited on the streets are now involved in indoor prostitution. According to the report, criminalisation of the purchase of sexual services has therefore helped to combat prostitution.
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- The Criminal Code (2004:406) Chapter 6 (PDF in English) - Brottsbalken (2004:406) (in Swedish)
- Chap. 4, section 1 a Trafficking in Human Beings
- Chap. 6, section 11, The Purchase of a sexual service
- Chap. 6, section 9, The Purchase of a sexual act from a child
- The Act Prohibiting the Purchase of Sexual Services (SFS 1998:408) The Act entered into force on 1 January 1999, but was revoked in April 2005, when the provision was made a part of the Penal Code (Lag om förbud mot köp av sexuella tjänster SFS 1998:408) (Swedish only)
- Aliens Act (2005:716) (PDF in English). The Act entered into force on 31 March 2006 Chap. 5, para. 15 - Utlänningslagen(in Swedish)
- Social Services Act (PDF in English) - Socialtjänstlagen (2001:453) (in Swedish)
- Social Services Act Sweden_en.pdf
- Criminal Code Chapter 6 Sweden_en.pdf
- Aliens Act Sweden_en.pdf
- Act on Prohibiting Purchase of Sexual Services_sv.pdf
- The Criminal Code (2004:406) Chapter 6 (PDF in English) - Brottsbalken (2004:406) (in Swedish)
6.2 National Action Plans
6.3.1 National situation reports from the Swedish National Rapporteur
6.3.2 Other reports and publications
- ICMPD Study on the assessment of extent of different types of trafficking in EU countries_en.pdf
- Poverty and Trafficking A strategy for combating trafficking in human beings through Swedish international development cooperation_en.pdf
- Poverty and Trafficking A strategy for combating trafficking in human beings through Swedish international development cooperation_sv.pdf
- UNODC 2009 Global report on trafficking in persons_en.pdf
- US Trafficking in Persons Report 2010_en.pdf
- US Trafficking in Persons 2012 Sweden_en.pdf
- US Trafficking in Persons Report 2011_Sweden_en
- The Ban against the Purchase of Sexual Services. An evaluation 1999-2008_EN.pdf
- 6.3.1 National situation reports from the Swedish National Rapporteur
The Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority
Box470, 901 09 UMEÅ
Telephone: + 46 90 70 82 00
Ministry of Integration and Gender Equality
Telephone: + 46 8-405 10 00
National Coordinator against Prostitution and Trafficking
County Administrative Board of Stockholm
Contact: Patrik Cederlöf
Telephone: + 46 8 785 40 20
NGOs and support centres
S-111 48 Stockholm
Telephone: +46 8 611 99 34
CBSS Council of the Baltic Sea States NBHSW National Board of Health and Social Welfare Sida
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
THB Trafficking in Human Beings IOM International Organization for Migration UNIAP UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking in Greater Mekong Sub-Region UNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
- 6.1 Legislation
Table of Contents
- 1. GENERAL INFORMATION
- 2. INSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK
- 3. IMPLEMENTATION OF ANTI-TRAFFICKING POLICY
- 4. EU AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION