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Many troubled Swedish youth selling sex: report

TT/The Local/dl · 1 Mar 2011, 08:27

Published: 01 Mar 2011 08:27 GMT+01:00

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The findings come in a report published on Tuesday by the National Board of Institutional Care (Statens institutionsstyrelse – SIS) and are drawn from interviews with 567 young people, roughly half of whom were placed in care centres for young people by social services in 2010, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

A number of high-profile rape and prostitution cases have involved young girls who had been placed in youth care homes.

In Malmö, a 14-year-old mentally handicapped girl who fled from a nearby youth care facility was at the centre of a pimping trial involving 10 men. She had been told by other girls at the home where she could go to attempt to sell sex.

And last year, former police commissioner Göran Lindberg was convicted of several cases of rape and prostitution, one of which involved a 17-year-old girl who had been placed in a youth care facility.

Equality Minister Nyamko Sabuni found the study's results troubling.

"The state has to take more responsibility. Not only in providing care, but also support for improving cooperation and coordination so that young people can be removed from these unbelievable awful situations as quickly as possible," Sabuni told the newspaper.

She added that more needs to be done before young people end up being placed in youth care homes in the first place.

Every year, around 20,000 young people in Sweden are taken out of their homes by social services, either due to family problems or because of their own behavioural problems, including criminal activity and addiction. Some youth also seek care voluntarily after having run away from home.

Roughly 1,000 of these young people, who are generally between 12 and 21-years-old, end up placed with a facility run by the National Board of Institutional Care, where they are placed in special treatment homes in accordance with Sweden's Care of Young Persons Act (Lag med särskilda bestämmelser om vård av unga – LVU).

Lengths of stay in Sweden's residential treatment centres for young people can vary from a few weeks to two years, although about half the admissions are completed within two months.

The study also included responses from 515 adult addicts who have been placed in substance abuse centres for adults under Sweden's Care of Alcoholics, Drug Abusers and Abusers of Volatile Solvents Act (Lag om vård av missbrukare – LVM).

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According to the responses, 15 percent of adult female addicts and 4 percent of adult male addicts under the state's care have sold sex for drugs or money.

One male respondent said he was 8-years-old when he first sold sex, although the average age at which boys and girls in the state's care first sold sex was 15.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:04 March 1, 2011 by HYBRED
It is a very sad situation. But where are the parents in all this? There is a line between letting kids 'express themselves', and putting your foot down and saying no. Parents have to notice the symptoms of problems earlier and act on them asap.
09:05 March 1, 2011 by Nemesis
The more I hear about Social Services in Sweden, the closer I am coming to the conclusion that everyone working in social services in Sweden is a criminal or at minimum criminally negligent.

12% of girls and 4% of boys prostituting themselves is something that would be noticed by anyone working with them, immedately.

On the basis of those figures, social services needs to be questioned to find out if they are involved.

All childrens care should be removed from social services for the safety of those children.
09:14 March 1, 2011 by darky
What do you expect of in a society where the children leave their homes and parents at the peak of their adolescence? There should be no complaints about this cos the system encourages it indirectly.
09:26 March 1, 2011 by RobinHood
So, 1 200 girls and 400, boys in state care, turn to prostitution, in any one year. That's on top of those already in care.

My rough and ready calculation based on these statistics, is that if 20 000 children are absorbed by the state care system every year, and on the assumption many will remain there for several years (until they are 21), there must be somewhere near 7000 prostitutes operating from the state care system alone. When you add the Swedish children not in state care, who also turn to prostitution (probably a much lower statistic than 12% and 4% but there are many more of them), there must be approaching 50 000 teenage prostitutes in Sweden.

Didn't we read another survey in the Local a few months ago that celebrated Sweden's prostitution laws as a smashing success? Now I'm all confused again!
10:09 March 1, 2011 by Jonsol69.blogspot.com
The children no longer play and smile,

Plugged into Nintendo and IPod they prowl.

Their minds are prey for marketing fiends,

And psychologist's educators dissecting reach.

State proclaims protection, then guides tiny minds,

Behind closed door and blind, youths flower declines.

Parents busy under increasing monetary yokes,

Tired spectator's offspring, who knows what's taught.

Charitable organisations assert by the boat load,

But iceberg's frozen truth the depths can't deny.

Little has changed, save academic book deal or bankroll.

Who really hears the children; state, parent, interests or silence?
11:04 March 1, 2011 by dragonflies1234
I can't stand these theLocal articles. How biased and hateful can a "news site" be, really? I don't understand why the writers of these articles are residing in Sweden in the first place. Or the comment writers. If this is such a sick place, why the f** are you here? Go back to whatever country you came from.

"It is a very sad situation. But where are the parents in all this? " Oh really? Did you even read the article? This is about children in youth care homes.

"I am coming to the conclusion that everyone working in social services in Sweden is a criminal or at minimum criminally negligent." Oh jesus, Sweden is like THE worst country to live in! Human rights are being abused! Social workers are criminals! Children are forced into prostitution! We have wars, famine, abuse, discrimination! Oh wow, we should look up to countries such as the USA, Russia, China, or Iraq to learn how they create such healthy, happy societies of people who have access to healthcare, low unemployment rates, no corruption, and so on and so on. (Read: IRONY) The mere THOUGHT that Sweden is being accused of being a country with a prostitution and child abuse problem is simply ridiculous. Yes, such problems exist everywhere. But may I suggest to conduct a survey of 500 children housed in state homes in Russia. or the USA. Or Turkey. And document the result. Oh right, maybe you will never get any negative results because the systems there are so corrupt that no one will give out the truth.

"All childrens care should be removed from social services for the safety of those children." But of course. And put where? In the streets to sniff glue and sleep in sewers, like in Russia?

"What do you expect of in a society where the children leave their homes and parents at the peak of their adolescence? There should be no complaints about this cos the system encourages it indirectly." This comment blew me away. Please, present me with a statistic which shows that Swedish teenagers leaving their homes early to lead independent lives leads them into prostitution. You are blaming the openness of this society? What is the better alternative - for parents to make everything forbidden? No early sex education, no alcohol, no partying, no dating... what do you think this will result in? (Read: teenagers will do it anyway, get unwanted pregnancies, do drugs and overdrink USA-style, getting alcohol poisoning).

Also let me point out that calling parents "the system" is stupid. Why? Maybe "cos" you don't know what you are talking about.

According to another "news" article I once read here, in Sweden it is "cool" for young people to say they have a sexually transmitted disease. Want to know how theLocal gathered this wonderful statistic? No idea, but it does make you wonder.
11:24 March 1, 2011 by Rishonim
Nemesis. I happen to agree with you and I would go as far as to also include judges and some politicians. The case of the 14 yo mentally disadvantaged girl in Malmo for example? those pimps got away clean and with the profit in their pockets as well.
11:33 March 1, 2011 by johnny1939
How sad is this! Where are the parents? They are out working (some of them) or busy w/ their own problems and leave their children to take care of themselves. I still think it is best for at least one parent to stay home until the children are out of the danger zone. children must be supervised and guided and feel that someone cares and that they are not on their own. I know this sounds impossible in today's world.
11:40 March 1, 2011 by Rick Methven

"I can't stand these theLocal articles. How biased and hateful can a "news site" be, really? I"

The Local is NOT writing these articles, it is translating articles from the Swedish media into English.

This one like most come from TT (Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå ) the Swedish Multi media news provider.

TT provides Swedish news media with fast and accurate news around the clock, every day of the year.

Members like The Local can get the full piece but anybody can get a synopsis from tt.se.

here is the public bit of the article from TT

"Unga med problem säljer sex

Ungdomar säljer sex i hopp om att få om att få bekräftelse och omtanke visar en rapport från Statens institutionsstyrelse (SIS). Nu kräver jämställdhetsminister Nyamko Sambuni (FP) snabba insatser. (TT)"

You can most probably read it all in most Swedish Papers
11:46 March 1, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Rishonim,

Good point about the judges.

Those pimps should have been locked away in a dark place, permanently.
18:27 March 1, 2011 by buschmann
@dragonflies. I think you are correct to ask about statistics from the U.S. Every 40 seconds a child "someone under 18" goes missing or is abducted in the U.S.( 2000 a day, 800,000 a year, 37% by a stanger) How many are never seen or heard from again? That is difficult to know, since this type of info is not so readily available. Many youn adults "go missing " also.
03:43 March 3, 2011 by ComradeNF
This is terrible to hear :(

I used to go to a school in downtown Stockholm (won't be mentioning the name) when I lived in Sweden and I knew multiple girls who had sold sex to people... Even people who I knew in person!
06:33 March 6, 2011 by BarCode
Somebody's buying
12:38 March 10, 2011 by sallysees
I sometimes think these terrible social problem, like we see here with teenagers selling themselves here in Sweden, may actually be feeding upon each other as a indirect result of say, women taking up anti-male kind of feminisim resulting in a deep disenfranchisement of Swedish men, and then those men seek solice when they are tempted by teenage girls driven by their addiction to drugs, to engage in illisit sex.
22:44 March 25, 2011 by P.Sturm
I do not understand the comment above. I assumed teenagers in Sweden, like most other countries, had to be at least 17 or 18 to sign a lease or any other contract to live outside of their family home.
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