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NEWS

Chilly Economy Inspires Iceland to Turn Frigid on Adult Industry

by Darklady

Iceland was once considered the happiest country on earth. Then the bottom dramatically dropped out of its mostly virtual economy and suddenly pleasure became the enemy – or so it seems, given proposed legislation to outlaw strip clubs and renting time with legal prostitutes

As is often the case, the justification for criminalizing these currently legal activities is a desire to end human trafficking, the only logical thing included on the bill’s proposed hit list.

“This plan is long overdue,” AFP quotes Icelandic Minister of Social Affairs, Asta Ragnheithur Johannesdottir as opining. “This has been a fighting issue for the human rights organizations, women’s organizations and many members of parliament for years.”

Ironically, prostitution was legalized within the country in 2007 for similar reasons, given that illegal prostitutes fear going to the police when assaulted, robbed or otherwise mistreated or dehumanized.

The proposed law would presumably not make prostitution itself illegal, merely the procuring of services from a prostitute.

Go figure.

The law, which is expected to see votes before the April 25th general elections, would punish offenders with fines and up to one year in jail for purchasing or promising to purchase time with sexual service providers. If the prostitute in question is younger than 18, the penalty increases to a maximum of two years in prison or larger fines.

Gundrun Jonsdotter, who represents the Icelandic counseling and information center for survivors of sexual violence, applauds the efforts, insisting that “We have now shown that we understand the connection between pornography, prostitution and human trafficking.”

Jonsdotter provided no further information about the alleged connection.

Although strip clubs have been illegal on Iceland, some have been permitted to exist after gaining special authorization. This practice will end if the law is passed, and all strip clubs will either close or risk prosecution.

Perhaps not entirely aware of the implication of her words, Johannesdottir emphasized that difficult economic times require fewer job options by telling AFP that “In times of economic downturn, it is even more important to tackle this issue. When there are economic hardships there is an even greater danger of criminal activity, like human trafficking and sexual abuse.”

Norway and Sweden have also introduced bans on legally purchasing sex. Presumably there is no human trafficking or sexual abuse within either of those countries as a result.

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