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Few initiatives for young people who have sex for compensation in the Nordic countries

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Young people who have sex for compensation are a vulnerable, particularly preyed-on group, but in the Nordic countries few specifically targeted social initiatives are offered to this group. This is shown in a new report entitled Young People, Vulnerabilities and Prostitution/Sex for Compensation in the Nordic Countries.

The Young People, Vulnerabilities and Prostitution/Sex for Compensation in the Nordic Countries report focuses specifically on young people’s experiences of sex for compensation and aimed to collect, analyse and problematize knowledge about this group in the Nordic countries. The aim of the study was to present existing knowledge about young people’s experiences of sex for compensation and to critically discuss the methods applied in the production of this knowledge. In addition, the study aimed to describe and analyse social initiatives in relation to young people who have sex for compensation, and analyse the application of the legislation relevant to this group.

It is the first time that knowledge about young people who have sex for compensation has been compiled and spotlighted in all the Nordic countries. The study’s findings and the overall picture that the report gives are an important source of knowledge for many different actors in the Nordic countries, according to Charlotta Holmström, sociologist and lead researcher for the study.

“It is vital knowledge for all actors who encounter young people in their work – social work, healthcare, police force, the legal system and schools – but also for actors who work with policy in these areas”, she say's.

More knowledge needed for giving adequate support

The report has been compiled, tasked by the Nordic Council of Ministers, by NIKK, Nordic Information on Gender, which is placed at the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research at the University of Gothenburg. The study presents national reports from the five Nordic countries, written by researchers in the field in each country. The reports are based on various types of material – some primarily based on previous research and reports, and others on empirical material collected in interviews with professionals working in the field.
The findings show overall that research into young people who have sex for compensation in the Nordic countries is relatively limited. Few social initiatives are offered specifically to young people who have sex for compensation. The reports also show that young people’s experiences of sex for compensation differ from those of older people, which is a strong motivation for targeted initiatives. Generally speaking, there is a need for more knowledge about young people in the Nordic countries who have sex for compensation in order to be able to deal with the problem and give young people in this situation adequate help and support.

Read more about the results of the report at nikk.no

The Nordic Council of Ministers has decided to place NIKK (Nordic Information on Gender) as a cooperative body at the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The assignment will last until 2022.

Text by Susanna Young Håkansson