The Nordic Model is an innovative and holistic form of sex industry policy that is gaining traction internationally. It is a progressive approach and the only option available that is consistent with a feminist human rights framework. It explicitly recognises the gendered nature of demand for sexual exploitation, that is: that women (esp. marginalised women) make up the majority of prostituted persons, and men make up the vast majority of sex buyers.
Key points to note about the Nordic Model (NM):
• The NM originated in Sweden, from secular, left-wing and feminist groups.
• Properly funded exit programs to support those leaving prostitution are central to the NM.
• The NM is a form of asymmetric decriminalisation. All legal sanctions are removed from prostituted persons while pimping, sex buying and brothel keeping are criminalised.
• It is a normative and educative approach to change attitudes and behaviour, including public education campaigns to curb demand for sexual exploitation.
• The NM understands the sex industry as a serious site of violence against women and a barrier to gender equality.