There are currently several cases before the European Court of Human Rights against the French law banning sexual purchases. This is due to the legislation the country introduced in 2016 which included a ban on the purchase of sexual services. Sweden has requested and been granted the right to take part in the cases as a third party.
In part by using Swedish legislation as a model, a ban on the purchase of sexual services was introduced in France in 2016. Now 250 people who state that they sell sexual services have applied to the European Court of Human Rights, as they claim that the French legislation violates their human rights and is therefore in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Swedish legislation and the model, which involves a ban on the purchase of sexual services but not the sale of such services, is an important tool in efforts to fight human trafficking for sexual purposes. It is a key component in efforts against inequality and to strengthen gender equality as well as to combat the demand for sexual services and men’s violence against women in the long term.
The Government has decided to intervene in the cases before the European Court of Human Rights and take part as a third party to defend the Swedish model regarding banning the purchase of sexual services. As a pioneering country in this area, Sweden has a unique opportunity to contribute and ensure that the European Court of Justice has a solid basis for its assessment.