More Prostitution in Iceland after Law Amendment Skip to content

More Prostitution in Iceland after Law Amendment

Senior officer of the Capital Region Police Sex Crime Department Björgvin Björgvinsson said prostitution is being advertised in the newspapers and that anyone interested can buy such services since prostitution became legal March 17 this year.

According to law, it is now legal to both solicit and purchase sexual services, but it is illegal for a third party to profit from prostitution.

The logic behind the law amendment is that individuals who have been forced into prostitution by a third party are more likely to come forward and lead police to those responsible since they are not breaking any laws themselves.

Björgvinsson told 24 Stundir that police are trying to investigate most prostitution cases of which they have knowledge, but that it is often difficult. “It is obvious that since prostitution is not punishable anymore it is more difficult for us to investigate such cases.”

Björgvinsson said police have questioned some foreign women who come to Iceland to solicit sexual services but without them revealing the identity of a third party. “They come here knowing that prostitution is legal as long as no one else is involved.”

Atli Gíslason, an MP for the Left Greens, said that when prostitutes from poorer European countries come to Iceland, they are probably being trafficked.

“They may have an agent abroad who threatens to hurt their families and children,” Gíslason said, adding that the police’s difficulties with investigating prostitution cases indicate that the law on prostitution is inadequate.

Click here to read more about the law amendment from March 17.

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