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Centre Party MPs demand prostitution ban

Finnish law allows buying sex, except from underage children and victims of human trafficking.

Miehen hattu ja takki naulakossa
Foreign prostitutes in Finland usually come from poorer parts of the world. Image: Tommi Parkkinen / Yle

Buying sex should be criminalized, demands a group of Centre Party members of parliament in a written question to government. The question was signed by Finnish Centre Women chairwoman Ulla Parviainen and six others members of the group.

”Undoubtedly nobody wants their mother, wife, daughter or son to work as a prostitute. Can anyone accept this fate for somebody else with a clean conscience, if they do not want it for their loved ones?” the group writes in their question.

Finnish law forbids buying sex from underage children and victims of human trafficking. The MPs state that the current legislation is not enough, and note how the sex industry is tightly related to abuse, exploitation, shame and organised crime. Neighbouring countries like Iceland, Sweden and Norway have completely banned prostitution.

The sex industry is often defended by claims that it is the world’s oldest profession, and banning it would strip some of their only way of making a living. The group writes that allowing sex trade turns a blind eye to structural problems around the issue, such as the exploitation of people coming from poorer parts of the world.

“The same arguments were used to defend slavery,” the statement by the Finnish Centre Women reads.

“A prostitute is in a submissive position and shamed even in cases where she or he has joined the industry of their own free will,” it continues.

The MPs of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s party urge government to take action.

”Political decisions have changed the way people behave before."

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