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Cuba follows Sweden to combat prostitution

AFP/The Local · 11 Nov 2011, 08:13

Published: 11 Nov 2011 08:13 GMT+01:00

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"Sweden has done a really admirable job and even organizations like CENESEX (Cuban National Center for Sex Education) and the Federation of Cuban Women would like to emulate the Swedish experience," said Castro, daughter of President Raul Castro, in an interview posted on YouTube on Thursday.

Castro made her remarks following a trip to the Netherlands, where she visited Amsterdam's infamous Red Light District.

The sixth Cuban congress on Sex Education, Sex Therapy and Sexual Orientation would take place January 23-26, and according to Castro this would be "a very good opportunity to relaunch the debate on prostitution."

Some 100,000 prostitutes worked in Cuba before the 1959 revolution, according to official figures.

Following a fierce crackdown by the Castro regime, prostitution reappeared with the severe economic crisis that hit the island following the fall of the Soviet Union.

Story continues below…

The 49-year-old sexologist, who heads CENESEX, said that "the Dutch experience cannot be replicated" on the communist island, but stressed that Cuba "is considering implementing the Swedish approach, which since 1999 has penalized the client and decriminalized the sex worker."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:03 November 11, 2011 by salalah
The Swedish model should be used all over the world, since the women are really victims and they are punished twice when they are charged with a crime. Studies have shown that most women who become prostitutes often have childhood traumas and are really easy to manipulate. No woman gets into prostitution because that is what she always wanted to do, but she is forced to it by lack of money or a "boyfriend". If it was legal for the women, they could get protection against pimps and violent customers without fear for prosecution. Instead of the clients, the women are the ones who are stigmatized. The men should be charged, since they do it out of their own sick desires and perversions.
11:26 November 11, 2011 by Taxlady
Some women choose to be prostitutes just like they will make other choices of employment. So that argument does not stand up. Sure they might go off the street but it has been shown that it does not matter what police tactics are, they will go underground and it could be even worse for them.

As they say it is"the oldest profession in the world".

Also I might add when I went to Cuba they were everywhere.

Prostitution should be legalized!
12:03 November 11, 2011 by Jes
@salalah , you write like an ignorant man .

Castro is lying just like her Dad has done for the last 50 years . The truth is that , in Cuba , prostitution is thriving today , much more that it did before that 1959 revolution . Fidel Castro himself is known to have hosted prostitutes . He boasted that only Cuba has prostitutes that are university graduates .

You are also wrong to include Sweden among the countries that should decide what an adult should do with their bodies . If a man is free to marry a man ; if a woman is free to have a child with another woman , a woman or a man should be free to sell or buy sex .

Also , it is subjective to say that prostitutes suffer from traumer or that they are forced into this type of business . If this were true , governments would ban the porn industry first , because the whole business is about making money out of sex . It is stupid to reason that a woman can earn a living by being filmed having wild sex with a stranger , but the same woman is not allowed to do the same just because the terms have been adjusted a bit.

Salalah , if you really want to be an advocate agains the exploitation of women by men , you should go to USA and take on the Play Boy Empire .

We acn also talk of what "studies have found" : smoking kills more people than any other desiese in Europe . Would you like to suggest that Cuba should be charged for producing and selling poison ?
12:42 November 11, 2011 by rouzi
It is OK if Cuba wants to follows Sweden to combat prostitution. The only thing that they should adapt the Swedish report model as well to manipulate the truth . I think it is easy fro Cuba to lie any way . Oh ,! by the way, Did Cuban allow to have internet. Last year for the first time they were allowed to have computer in their homes seemingly.
12:57 November 11, 2011 by Kaethar
I think the Swedish model can be implemented elsewhere since it has proven effective here. And people complaining about how some people choose to become prostitutes need a reality check. Yes, some do and some people would also submit themselves to human experimentation for money. Doesn't mean either should be legal.

Matter of fact is that human trafficking is a growing problem and stands for most of the sex trade in Sweden. With trafficking people tend to envision someone locked in a cellar but this isn't necessarily the case. Most will "willingly" have sex because the traffickers say they'll kill their family otherwise. There have been many stories of regular clients of prostitues eventually being told this by the girls themselves and them then become forefront figures in the anti-trafficking movement.

Yes, some people want to sell sex and there's really nothing morally wrong with that. But demand for sold sex needs to be cut in order to combat human trafficking. Simple as that.
13:14 November 11, 2011 by Abe L
I don't think Sweden should be proud of the fact that a country like Cuba is following their example. In fact, that alone should be a sign that you want to change your course 180degrees.

Prostitution is just an occupation like any other. It should be legalized everywhere, much like the Dutch and Danish models. It creates jobs and if it's legal those can be taxed, there is a LOT money going on in that industry that in return could be used to relieve some of the other tax constructions.

If you legalize it, the demand for illegal alternatives which usually involve criminal activities also disappear. As people can get it through legit channels. Other countries with legalized prostitution also have much lower rape numbers, something that is a big problem in Sweden. If people can have their sexual needs provided to them in a legal matter for a small compensation, it will only solve problems.

And with the pay, you can get by just working a few days a month and cash in on the same numbers as someone that works full-time in a regular job.
13:32 November 11, 2011 by DavidtheNorseman
Prostitution is anti-social abuse. Period. End of story. 96% of women in it want out. Just castrate the users and get on with it.

14:04 November 11, 2011 by Jes
@Kaethar , you are mixing up issues .

Prostitution is just very small cause of human trafficking . In counties where prostition is legal , the vice is not less prominent than in countries where sex trade is illegal .

Yes m some people will offer themselves for money . We all know that . But why don`t you ask why pornography is not illegal ?

Are you saying that the operators of PlayBoy have bettter morals than the women who sexually intertain men inxchange for sex ?

@DavidtheNorseman , why don`t you try to relly on your own head instead of what some other people write in their documentaries.

What do you mean : "anti-social abuse " ?

What will you say if you discover that 96% of smokers want to stop ........ just block thier mouths and noses ?
14:41 November 11, 2011 by rouzi
As far as I know sex is sold in Sweden with really high prices which it has made Sweden a very interesting place for both human traffickers and free mover hookers. Additionally, because law dose not penalty woman for selling sex, they enjoy a total freedom in selling sex and earning damn lots of money. Selling sex is a very complicated issue and motivated with entirely different reasons. Banning prostitution is not definitely the solution. I would like to remind those who are supporting the suppression of prostitution that before ever Sweden think about making prostitution illegal, the process was practicing in many religious countries. Besides, the punishment in the past was very heavier than now. As far as I know still today prostitution is forbidden in many Islamic countries and it penalties with very sever punishment and even sometimes inhumanities.
15:06 November 11, 2011 by Central European
Rouzi :

In some Islam areas the just use " temporary marriage" for half of hour to several days and each day is payed from male to female by agreed amounts of money..... i think it is called muta or mutah ..
15:30 November 11, 2011 by lolly lap
Swedish law to penalize sex buyers is completely insane and doesn't make any sense and doesn't help women, actually this law is helping mafia to get into this business because of its high price in Sweden. If you see the fact and figures, Because this strange law, prostitution is increased in Sweden, now let me tell you some facts:

1. 99.9% Thai massage parlors in every city of Sweden, they doing this business

2. if you search on google "eskorts i Sverige" you will find hundreds of escorts

working in Sweden as sex workers.

3. In every city of Sweden, there are some special streets or areas where you

can go find street hookers of any nationality mostly from Africa, Romania,

Bulgaria or from any Balkan state.

4. Now a days, you can find sex workers even in popular pubs in any city.

I really don't think, this strange law helped in any way to stop prostitution instead it helped to increase the prostitution including force prostitution.

Therefore i request to Swedish government, legalize this profession so law enforcement can have better control on it.
15:52 November 11, 2011 by Jes
Spot on @rouzi !

Sweden is hiding behind a smoke-screan of hypocricy . We all know that is is not illegal to sell sex in Sweden , though it is illegal to purchase sex .

Interestingly , no one takes this to mean that Sweden is setting up the consumer( purchaser) to be exploited by the provider ( prostitute)

In other words , Sweden is saying that a woman ( prostitute) must be so intellecualy invalid to be made responsible for her actions and decisions when it comes to the matter of sex. It the buyer ( the men ) who must be blamed for the women`s lack of proper judgement .

So , where does that leave the argument that ,in Sweden, women are eqaul to men ?

If were a feminist activist , I would challenge the law that places women in this kind of generalized block . I would argue that women are individuals just like men are ; that they are capable of making decisions right or wrong ones . That the only woman that is "exploited and abused" is that woman who says so and proves it
16:16 November 11, 2011 by Tanskalainen
Denmark needs to follow Sweden's lead in this matter. Denmark is the brothel of Scandinavia sad to say. There are some 700 brothels in a country the size of Indiana! I doubt if any thing will be done about though as long as "Gucci Helle" is in office. Her head is permanently in the clouds.
20:17 November 11, 2011 by old jack
I'd like to know what the prostitutes themselves think about these issues--female and male sex workers. And if it were to be legalized in Sweden, would arbetsförmedlingen be involved?!
13:16 November 12, 2011 by Jes
@old jack , actions speak more than words . The prostitute that earns a living without having to be taxed makes a clear statement . If one is a prostitute , it mean that one is FOR-( not against) prostitution

Asking a prostitute wether she/ he wants the trade legalized ( involving arbersförmedlingen and the tax Office) is like asking a wine smuggler the same question .

The truth is that prostution, just like smuggling , is there because of the laws of demand & supply . Today , it is estimated that there are more than 4000 prostitutes doing it on the Net , Face Book and through other social media contacts .

Who ever tells you that they will ever eliminate this trade is playing games with your brain .
21:25 November 16, 2011 by philster61
Perhaps the Swedish model could be used to demonstrate how to increase rape in your society...That's one of the consequences of criminalizing the sex trade..... As has happened in Norway (1 in 10 women are raped) and Sweden........

Cuba should not follow the Swedish model. It should follow the Dutch one....
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