Prostitution and human trafficking

Prostitution and human trafficking for sexual purposes receive particular attention in the Swedish government’s 10-year national strategy for the elimination of men’s violence against women.

Man tittar på datorskärm. Ett barnrum syns i bakgrunden

Prostitution and human trafficking are complex issues and the need for cooperation and victim support is large. In 2009, the Swedish government therefore commissioned the County Administrative Board of Stockholm to coordinate and strengthen the Swedish work in the area. The National Task Force against Prostitution and Human Trafficking (NMT) was started within the framework of this assignment.

NMT consists of government agencies that work against prostitution and human trafficking and serves as a strategic and operative resource for the development of the coordination of government agencies and NGOs. The goal is to prevent prostitution and trafficking for all purposes in Sweden. An important part of the work is to improve the protection of victims and increase the prosecution of perpetrators. To read more about the support, go to NMT:s webpage (opens in new window).

A special support structure designed to assist the government agencies in their work with prostitution and trafficking has been developed within the framework of NMT. The support structure includes a telephone helpline, a re-migration programme (operated in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration, a UN body) and a number of regional coordinators against prostitution and trafficking who offer victim support. NMT also offers support and training for municipalities, government agencies and NGOs.

The Swedish Gender Equality Agency is responsible for coordination

On 1 January 2018, the coordination task was transferred from the County Administrative Board of Stockholm to the Swedish Gender Equality Agency. The transfer also included the responsibility for the work carried out within the framework of NMT.

Human trafficking for sexual purposes is considered one of the worst forms of men’s violence against women. Human trafficking occurs in many forms, and girls, women, boys and men fall victim to this type of crime in several different ways in Sweden.

The Swedish Gender Equality Agency has the authority to work against all forms of human trafficking. The work against human trafficking for the removal of body organs, military service, forced labour or other activities that imply an emergency for the victim (for example exploitation through forced begging, criminal activity etc.) will fall within the coordinative responsibility of the Swedish Gender Equality Agency.

Prostitution policy

In 1999 Sweden became the first country in the world to prohibit the purchase of sexual services. To read more about policy, see the booklet Prostitution Policy in Sweden – targeting demand (opens in new window.

Prostitution and human trafficking

Publication date: 9 June 2021

Last updated: 29 September 2022