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Estonia Fears Rise in Finnish Sex Tourism

Estonians fear a flood of Finnish sex tourists if Finland criminalises the purchasing of sex services. The Baltic republic saw a significant increase in sex tourism from Sweden six years ago after that country banned the buying of sex.

A number of experts interviewed by the Estonian newspaper Postimees expect a rise in sex tourism from Finland if the Finnish government goes ahead with plans to make it a crime to buy sex from a prostitute.

The Estonian Women's Studies and Resource Centre estimates that about half of Estonian prostitutes' customers are from abroad.

Postimees reports that already now Finns constitute a large part of the clientele.

This has Finnish health officials worried, especially since Estonia is combating an HIV epidemic.

Health officials fear that the risk of the epidemic spilling over to Finland will grow significantly with an increase in sex tourists.

Estonia's Justice Minister Rein Lang has said that he is closely following Finns moves to ban the purchase of sex, but at least for the time being Estonia doesn't plan to change its own legislation.

Finnish lawmakers will debate a bill on criminalising sex purchases on Thursday.

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