Summary: The Criminalisation of Clients


This is a summary of the Criminalisation of Clients briefing paper. The criminalisation of sex workers’ clients is often claimed to be part of a new legal framework to eradicate sex work and trafficking by ‘ending demand’. In 1999, Sweden criminalised sex workers’ clients and maintained the criminalisation of third parties such as brothel-owners, managers, security and support staff. The individual selling of sex remained legal. This model is frequently referred to as the ‘Swedish’, ‘Nordic’ or ‘End Demand’ model. There is great pressure in many countries to advance such legal and policy measures. The damaging consequences of this model on sex workers’ health, rights and living conditions are rarely discussed.  

Contents include: 

  • Impact on sex workers of 'sex demand' laws
    • Increased repression of sex workers
    • Increased violence and discrimination
    • Decreased access to health and social services
    • Decreased access to housing and shelter 

You can download this 4-page PDF above. This resource is available in English, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.