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Sexköp som sexköp? En sexköpares straffrättsliga ansvar i människohandelskedjan

Langels, Ulrika LU (2011) JURM01 20111
Department of Law
Abstract
Each year millions of people are victim of human trafficking and the demand for women’s and children's sexual services is particularly high. Sweden has a unique law criminalizing the purchase of sexual services, which is closely linked to the human trafficking industry. On July 1st, the maximum penalty for the purchase of sexual services will be raised to imprisonment for one year. This will allow for more nuanced assessments in cases where, for example, the service provider is a victim of human trafficking.

This thesis deals with the gray zone of criminal liability between the purchase of sexual services and human trafficking for sexual purposes. It examines how Swedish law relates to the international human trafficking laws which... (More)
Each year millions of people are victim of human trafficking and the demand for women’s and children's sexual services is particularly high. Sweden has a unique law criminalizing the purchase of sexual services, which is closely linked to the human trafficking industry. On July 1st, the maximum penalty for the purchase of sexual services will be raised to imprisonment for one year. This will allow for more nuanced assessments in cases where, for example, the service provider is a victim of human trafficking.

This thesis deals with the gray zone of criminal liability between the purchase of sexual services and human trafficking for sexual purposes. It examines how Swedish law relates to the international human trafficking laws which include the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, the EU Directive on the prevention and combating of human trafficking, and the European Convention against human trafficking. The aim is to explore how some purchases of sexual services have been tried in courts and whether it would have been possible to label them and try them as trafficking.

According to a state led evaluation of the prohibition to buy sexual services, SOU 2010:49, most investigations of purchases of sexual services are related to investigations of organized forms of prostitution. In line with international law, States are required to effectively investigate and prosecute persons suspected of trafficking. The seriousness of the crime must be considered, especially when it comes to crimes against children. Many Swedish purchasers of sexual services accept a summary imposition of a fine and therefore do not go through a trial. This means that in many cases the opportunity to try aggravating circumstances under the prohibition to purchase sexual services may have been missed. The provision to prohibit the purchase of sexual services may also have minimized the correct application of the more serious crime of human trafficking.

In international law, one can draw on a common and frequent discussion of "consumer" responsibility for the phenomenon of human trafficking. If this view becomes more widely accepted, a failure to criminalize the final step in the trafficking chain possibly can be seen as a failure to legislate against the offense of trafficking.

The thesis shows that there are situations in which persons convicted for the purchase of sexual services could have been tried under the human trafficking provision. It also shows that, with the recent changes regarding the trafficking provision and the prohibition on the purchase of sexual services, the legislature has missed opportunities to form clearer and stricter penalties for trafficking-related purchase of sexual services.

That said, it is not clear what possible criminal liability a purchaser of sexual services may have under the trafficking provision. It is essential to provide for a national interpretation of human trafficking provisions, however, to a large extent, the international definitions are vague and the explanatory reports avoid straight answers. This means that seemingly evident criteria are incorporated inconsistently into national law. In order to clarify some elements of the Swedish provision, it is necessary to try some situations of the purchase of sexual services under human trafficking. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Miljoner människor faller årligen offer för människohandel världen över och efterfrågan på framförallt kvinnor och barns sexuella tjänster är stor. Sverige har en unik lagstiftning mot köp av sexuella tjänster med nära koppling till och avskräckande effekt på människohandelsindustrin. För att möjliggöra mer nyanserade bedömningar, exempelvis i fall där den som erbjuder tjänsten är offer för människohandel, skärps från och med den 1 juli 2011 straffskalan för förbudet mot köp av sexuella tjänster i Sverige.

Uppsatsen behandlar den gråzon som finns för straffansvar mellan köp av sexuell tjänst och människohandel. Den undersöker hur svensk rätt förhåller sig till internationella bestämmelser om människohandel såsom FN:s protokoll om... (More)
Miljoner människor faller årligen offer för människohandel världen över och efterfrågan på framförallt kvinnor och barns sexuella tjänster är stor. Sverige har en unik lagstiftning mot köp av sexuella tjänster med nära koppling till och avskräckande effekt på människohandelsindustrin. För att möjliggöra mer nyanserade bedömningar, exempelvis i fall där den som erbjuder tjänsten är offer för människohandel, skärps från och med den 1 juli 2011 straffskalan för förbudet mot köp av sexuella tjänster i Sverige.

Uppsatsen behandlar den gråzon som finns för straffansvar mellan köp av sexuell tjänst och människohandel. Den undersöker hur svensk rätt förhåller sig till internationella bestämmelser om människohandel såsom FN:s protokoll om förebyggande, bekämpande och bestraffande av handel med människor, särskilt kvinnor och barn, EU-direktivet om förebyggande och bekämpande av människohandel samt Europakonventionen mot människohandel. Syftet är att undersöka hur människohandelsliknande köp av sexuell tjänst prövats och om det i vissa situationer istället går att utkräva ett straffrättsligt ansvar för människohandel.

Enligt SOU 2010:49 Förbud av köp av sexuell tjänst. En utvärdering 1999-2008 sker de flesta utredningar av sexköpsbrott i samband med utredningar av organiserade former av prostitution. I överensstämmelse med internationella bestämmelser är stater skyldiga att effektivt utreda, åtala och lagföra personer misstänkta för människohandel. Brottets allvar måste beaktas, särskilt brott mot barn. Sexköpsutvärderingen visade att många svenska sexköpare får ett strafföreläggande vilket gör att åtal oftast inte väcks. Detta gör att man i ett stort antal fall inte ens tagit chansen att pröva försvårande omständigheter eller övervägt om det kan röra sig om en annan situation än den man inledningsvis trodde. Sexköplagens existens kan således ha förringat en prövning under allvarligare brott, såsom människohandel. I internationell rätt kan man skönja en allt vanligare och återkommande diskussion om ”konsumenternas” ansvar för fenomenet människohandel. Om den synen blir alltmer vedertagen kan ett misslyckande att kriminalisera slutsteget i människohandelskedjan möjligtvis komma att ses som ett totalt misslyckande att lagstifta mot hela brottet människohandel.

Uppsatsen visar att det förekommer situationer som dömts som köp av sexuell tjänst i Sverige men som skulle kunna prövats under människohandelsbestämmelsen, både enligt internationell rätt och svensk rätt. Den visar också att lagstiftaren med de senaste förändringarna av människohandelsbestämmelsen och förbudet mot köp av sexuell tjänst missat möjligheter till ett än strängare straffansvar för människohandelsrelaterade sexköp.

Med detta sagt är det dock inte klart vilket möjligt straffrättsligt ansvar en sexköpare kan ha i relation till människohandelsbestämmelsen. Som en följd av behovet att ge nationellt tolkningsutrymme, har de internationella bestämmelsernas definitioner i stor utsträckning lämnats luddiga och uteslutit givna svar. Detta har gjort att till synes uppenbara rekvisit i själva verket lämnats därhän och inte inkorporerats på ett tydligt sätt i nationell rätt. Även den svenska regleringen är på vissa punkter oklar och en prövning för att förtydliga rekvisit i människohandelsbestämmelsen välkomnas och behövs. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Langels, Ulrika LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Purchase of sexual services - a possible criminal responsibility under the human trafficking provision?
course
JURM01 20111
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
sexköp, människohandel, trafficking, köp av sexuella tjänster, köp av sexuell handling av barn, Palermoprotokollet, straffrätt
language
Swedish
id
2173529
date added to LUP
2011-10-31 13:16:48
date last changed
2011-10-31 13:16:48
@misc{2173529,
  abstract     = {Each year millions of people are victim of human trafficking and the demand for women’s and children's sexual services is particularly high. Sweden has a unique law criminalizing the purchase of sexual services, which is closely linked to the human trafficking industry. On July 1st, the maximum penalty for the purchase of sexual services will be raised to imprisonment for one year. This will allow for more nuanced assessments in cases where, for example, the service provider is a victim of human trafficking.

This thesis deals with the gray zone of criminal liability between the purchase of sexual services and human trafficking for sexual purposes. It examines how Swedish law relates to the international human trafficking laws which include the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, the EU Directive on the prevention and combating of human trafficking, and the European Convention against human trafficking. The aim is to explore how some purchases of sexual services have been tried in courts and whether it would have been possible to label them and try them as trafficking.

According to a state led evaluation of the prohibition to buy sexual services, SOU 2010:49, most investigations of purchases of sexual services are related to investigations of organized forms of prostitution. In line with international law, States are required to effectively investigate and prosecute persons suspected of trafficking. The seriousness of the crime must be considered, especially when it comes to crimes against children. Many Swedish purchasers of sexual services accept a summary imposition of a fine and therefore do not go through a trial. This means that in many cases the opportunity to try aggravating circumstances under the prohibition to purchase sexual services may have been missed. The provision to prohibit the purchase of sexual services may also have minimized the correct application of the more serious crime of human trafficking. 

In international law, one can draw on a common and frequent discussion of "consumer" responsibility for the phenomenon of human trafficking. If this view becomes more widely accepted, a failure to criminalize the final step in the trafficking chain possibly can be seen as a failure to legislate against the offense of trafficking.

The thesis shows that there are situations in which persons convicted for the purchase of sexual services could have been tried under the human trafficking provision. It also shows that, with the recent changes regarding the trafficking provision and the prohibition on the purchase of sexual services, the legislature has missed opportunities to form clearer and stricter penalties for trafficking-related purchase of sexual services.

That said, it is not clear what possible criminal liability a purchaser of sexual services may have under the trafficking provision. It is essential to provide for a national interpretation of human trafficking provisions, however, to a large extent, the international definitions are vague and the explanatory reports avoid straight answers. This means that seemingly evident criteria are incorporated inconsistently into national law. In order to clarify some elements of the Swedish provision, it is necessary to try some situations of the purchase of sexual services under human trafficking.},
  author       = {Langels, Ulrika},
  keyword      = {sexköp,människohandel,trafficking,köp av sexuella tjänster,köp av sexuell handling av barn,Palermoprotokollet,straffrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Sexköp som sexköp? En sexköpares straffrättsliga ansvar i människohandelskedjan},
  year         = {2011},
}