Press release from the first Nordic conference for sex
workers 27-28 October 2004 in Oslo, Norway
For the first time female, male and transgender sex
workers from the Nordic countries gathered for a
conference. The urgent situation in Sweden has made it
apparent that a network for sex workers is crucial for
further political work in the Nordic region. In the
current political situation the attending
representatives from the Nordic sex worker
organisations wanted to stress unity concerning the
central issues that future prostitutiton policies must
take into account:
1. Legislation on sex work should not criminalize
neither buyers nor sellers of sexual services.
2. When making new laws and enforcing already existing
laws, the main concern must be not to further
stigmatize or endanger the sex workers.
3. All the Nordic countries are currently facing an
increase of migrant men and women working in the sex
industry. Some of these men and women do not have
legal documents. We demand practical and functional
solutions for these persons that do not further
criminalize them and that respect their fundamental
human rights and take into consideration the situation
in their countries of origin.
4. Social workers, health care workers and civil
servants who are to aid sex workers must base their
support on sex workers’ understanding of their own
needs. Therefore we suggest an objective mapping of
the sex market as a whole in each of the Nordic
countries. This should be done in co-operation with
At the conference a network was formed to ensure that
the political work is continued. It was also decided
that an annual award is to be given to “a person brave
enough to give sex workers a voice”. The first prize
was awarded the Norwegian member of parliament Inga
Marte Thorkildsen “for her passionate support and her
willingness to stand in pride next to sex workers and
refer to them as friends and equals”.
Gitte, Oslo, Norway: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pye, Stockholm, Sweden: email@example.com.
Johannes, Malmo, Sweden: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Johanna, Helsinki, Finland: email@example.com.