What is the Nordic Model Adopted by Israel?
Article: Luba Fine
The Nordic model is sometimes also referred to as the "ban on the consumption of prostitution", the "abolitionist model" or the "equality model". This is a regulatory approach, which makes buying "sexual services" an illegal act. Economic activity aimed at profiting from another person's prostitution, such as pimping, is also prohibited. Prostitution itself is seen within the framework of the model as a harm to those who engage in it, and therefore they are provided with rehabilitation services and exit from the circle of prostitution. This approach has been adopted in Sweden (1999), Norway (2009), Iceland (2009), Canada (2014), Northern Ireland (2015), France (2016), Ireland (2017) and Israel (2020).
What is the source of access?
The first country where a feminist organization arose demanding a ban on the consumption of prostitution was Norway, where the first women's demonstrations broke out already in the 1980s. However, Sweden was the first to enforce the ban. Extensive research preceded the legislation. One of the researchers was Cecilie Høigård. This is how she describes what happened  :
"We spent several years in fieldwork and developed close relationships with the women in prostitution. We heard about their experiences of past abuse, extreme poverty and violence. We were prepared for these stories, because of the previous studies we conducted on the marginalized groups. But what the women told us about their concrete experiences of prostitution was unexpected and shocking They told us how it feels to use their bodies and vaginas as rental space, invaded by violent men, and explained the need to separate the body from the self: 'I and my body are two separate parts. It is not me, my feelings or my soul that is beating. I am not for sale '."
"Women had many strategies for maintaining this separation. In order to have agency in their lives, they showed great creativity and power within the small space of maneuver they had. However, over time they found it difficult to maintain the separation between their bodies and themselves. After the adulterer left, Len was difficult Especially to return to themselves. In the end, women felt worthless, dirty and disgusting. These stories were very similar to what we heard from victims of other types of sexual violence, such as incest, rape and domestic violence. The research group disagreed on many things, but they all expressed the same feelings of despair in relation to the pain and lack of understanding of the adulterers regarding the consequences of their actions."
"In the beginning, there was huge opposition to the idea of banning the consumption of prostitution, but after a few years the opponents in the working group changed their position. The ensuing discussion served as an extensive educational campaign. In Sweden, attitudes towards the law quickly changed in a positive direction, and the proportion of Swedish men who buy 'sexual services' from women depreciation".
What is the purpose of the Nordic Nordic model?
The main purpose of any type of criminal legislation is to deter the public from committing certain behavior while clarifying what we as a society consider unacceptable. Anyone can experience an urge to commit criminal behavior, but after thinking about arrest and punishment, many consider alternative solutions for this behavior, which do not have criminal and social sanctions on their side. The Nordic model is no different. The law clarifies that paying for prostitution is not acceptable, and that it has specific sanctions.
The principles of the Nordic model
1. Not criminalizing the population for prostitution
The population in prostitution is the main victim of the sex industry. Prostitution is violent by nature and hurts those who are trapped and trapped in the cycle. Exiting the cycle of feeding is much more difficult than entering it. Any criminal record makes getting out even more difficult. Therefore, the criminalization of those who are involved in prostitution should be avoided only for their personal practice of prostitution, as opposed to the criminalization of those who make a living from the prostitution of others.
2. Rehabilitation services for those trying to get out of prostitution
The Nordic model requires the establishment of a set of services for the population in the circle of prostitution, including rehabilitation services. There is a need for services that make it possible to minimize the harm of prostitution without moral judgment towards those who engage in it, as well as services for exiting prostitution that include psychosocial support, access to existing government services, rehab services, professional training and more. A set of services of this type has been developing in Israel since the beginning of the 21st century, and on the website "Khal Zerot" you can find information about the services available today. The entry into force of the law prohibiting the consumption of prostitution has expanded significantly.
3. Legal ban on consuming "prostitution services"
A legal prohibition on paying another person for an act of prostitution is the central principle of the Nordic model. The purpose of the ban is more deterrence than punishment, so in all the countries adopting the model it is a non-harsh punishment.
4. Strict enforcement of all prohibitions on making a profit from prostitution
Any activity aimed at making a living from the prostitution of another person, such as solicitation, trafficking, maintaining a place for the purpose of prostitution, pimping others, and more, these are violations of human rights that should be severely punished.
5. Public education
Since the phenomenon of prostitution is rooted in human culture, effective change requires an extensive public campaign, education programs in schools, training for police officers, social workers, teachers, municipal workers and health workers.
"What is the Nordic Model?" https://nordicmodelnow.org/what-is-the-nordic-model/
What services does Israel provide to people in prostitution under the Nordic Model? https://nordicmodelnow.org/2021/02/09/what-services-does-israel-provide-to-people-in-prostitution-under-the-nordic-model/
A guide for women, youth and men in prostitution or recovering from prostitution
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