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Fostering Imagination in Fighting Trafficking: Comparing Strategies and Policies To Fight Sex Trafficking in the U.S. and Sweden

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2008
61 pages
This study compared the methodologies and effectiveness of America's and Sweden's model for addressing international trafficking of women into their countries for commercial sex.
The study concluded that neither country's model "solved" the problem of trafficking for sexual purposes. Rather, each country has adopted an antitrafficking strategy and the policies for implementing it that reflect the country's value system, attitude toward prostitution, governmental capacities, historical experiences, legal codes, and geopolitical perspectives. The models are similar in that both countries believe sex trafficking is a major international issue that requires a mixture of law enforcement, social welfare, and foreign policies. Both countries also view the women who are trafficked as victims of human rights abuses. The models differ, however, in their strategic priorities. The American approach emphasizes strengthening legal codes and law enforcement tools against traffickers, while enhancing services for victims. It can be described as a victim-centered approach, which many countries have emulated. The Swedish model, on the other hand, criminalizes demand for trafficking while handling the "supply" through administrative means. It can be described as an equality-centered approach that has received numerous positive reviews worldwide. The study methodology was a comparative case study approach that focused on two units of analysis: strategy and implementation within the spheres of both domestic and foreign policies. Each case study was based on the same rigorous structure, which allowed for systematic comparisons and analysis. Researchers relied primarily on information they had collected on trafficking in the two countries for over a decade. Both primary and secondary archival sources were used to identify the cases examined. Archival sources were supplemented with interviews. 2 figures

Date Published: May 1, 2008