PION submits this shadow report to CEDAW as a complement to the ninth periodic reports from the Norwegian Government, specifically on the issue of sex work in Norway.
This report is based on in-depth interviews, conducted over a two-month period, with sex workers (SWs), in both the indoor and outdoor arenas in Norway, and with social service providers (SSPs). It draws on PION’s historical and organizational knowledge of issues relating to SWs in Norway over a period of almost three decades. As well as academic research, reviews and evaluations from other organizations, and reports from key service providers working with SWs’ health and human rights.
The report and advocacy in Geneva led the CEDAW Committee to, for the first time, recognise the harms of client criminalisation in its concluding observations:
The Committee is concerned at the unintended consequences of the criminalization since 2009 of the purchase of sexual activity or a sexual act from adults, in particular the higher risk for the personal safety and physical integrity of women in prostitution as reflected in the low reporting rate of physical and sexual violence, exploitation and harassment; and the risk of being evicted from their premises when used for prostitution.