NEWS:Danish Lawmakers OK Prostitution

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Subject: NEWS:Danish Lawmakers OK Prostitution
From: Jyothi Kanics (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Date: Mon Mar 08 1999 - 14:44:01 EST


Danish Lawmakers OK Prostitution

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Denmark's parliament has voted to legalize
prostitution - a decision that came
after more than two decades of quietly tolerating the sale of sexual services.

The new law, which goes into force on July 1, passed 81-27 in a vote Thursday.
It also makes it illegal to purchase
sex from anyone under the age of 18, with a maximum sentence of two years in
prison.

At the same time, Danes stepped up measures to prevent prostitution by minors,
help women get out of the sex
trade, and stop those who bring women in from Eastern Europe and Asia and then
force them into prostitution.

``One shouldn't view prostitutes as criminals, but rather prostitution as a
symptom of social problems,'' Minister
of Social affairs Karen Jespersen was quoted as saying by the Jyllands Posten
newspaper.

Prostitution is already widely tolerated in Denmark, and police virtually
stopped arresting women for selling sex in
the mid-1970s.

Minister of Justice Frank Jensen also said the government plans to crack down on
the growing problem of
criminals bringing women from poor countries to Denmark and forcing them to work
as virtual sex slaves.

The new Danish law was in sharp contrast to one recently adopted by neighboring
Sweden, which makes the
purchase of sexual services illegal.


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