Is Prostitution Legal in Finland?
In Finland, prostitution is legal, but it is heavily regulated. This means that while the act of selling sex is not a criminal offense, many activities related to prostitution are criminalized. These include purchasing sexual services, promoting prostitution, and operating a brothel. The purpose of these laws is to protect those involved in sex work and to prevent human trafficking and exploitation.
What Are the Laws and Penalties Surrounding Prostitution in Finland?
Finland’s laws on prostitution focus on criminalizing the demand for sexual services and penalizing those who exploit sex workers. Some of the key aspects of the legislation include:
- Purchasing sexual services: It is illegal to purchase sexual services in public places or from victims of human trafficking. Offenders can face fines or imprisonment for up to six months.
- Promoting prostitution: This includes activities such as pimping, procuring, or operating a brothel. The penalties for these offenses can range from fines to imprisonment for up to three years.
- Human trafficking: The trafficking of individuals for the purpose of sexual exploitation is a serious offense in Finland, with penalties ranging from two to ten years in prison.
Sex workers in Finland are also required to pay taxes on their income, and they have access to the same social welfare services as other Finnish citizens.
How is Prostitution Referred to Locally in Finland?
In Finland, the term prostitution is often used to describe the exchange of sexual services for money. However, the term sex work is also commonly used to emphasize the labor aspect of the profession and to challenge the stigma often associated with prostitution. Many advocacy groups and sex workers themselves prefer the term sex work as it is considered more respectful and less stigmatizing.
What is the History of Prostitution in Finland?
Prostitution has a long history in Finland, dating back to the 19th century when the country was part of the Russian Empire. During this time, regulated brothels were established in major cities such as Helsinki and Turku. However, the brothel system was abolished in 1907, and prostitution was criminalized in 1919.
In the decades that followed, the laws surrounding prostitution in Finland underwent several changes. In 1971, the sale of sexual services was decriminalized, but purchasing sex and promoting prostitution remained illegal. The focus of the legislation shifted towards protecting sex workers and preventing exploitation.
In 2006, the Finnish government implemented new measures to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation, including stricter penalties for purchasing sexual services and promoting prostitution. These laws remain in place today and continue to shape the country’s approach to regulating sex work.
What Government Laws and Resources are Available in Finland Regarding Prostitution?
The Finnish government has implemented several laws and resources to address prostitution and protect those involved in sex work. These include:
- National Action Plan against Prostitution and Human Trafficking: This comprehensive plan outlines the government’s efforts to prevent and combat human trafficking, provide support services to victims, and raise awareness of the issue.
- Pro-tukipiste: This non-governmental organization offers support and assistance to sex workers in Finland, including legal advice, health services, and social support.
- Victim Support Finland: This organization provides support services to victims of crime, including those who have been trafficked or exploited through prostitution.
- THL – National Institute for Health and Welfare: The THL conducts research on prostitution and sex work in Finland and provides resources and recommendations for policymakers and service providers.
In addition to these resources, Finland also cooperates with international organizations such as the European Union and the United Nations to combat human trafficking and promote the rights and wellbeing of sex workers.