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Yes, there is some "lose of translation". It took me a few reads of the transcript and several listens to the audio to understand better her points.

I believe Rosinha is making several points on how the Swedish laws are affecting those working in prostitution in Sweden.

I interpret Rosinha as saying that Sweden's approach to prostitution is pushing prostitution into the underground, or into the shadows of the society, and thus makes the conditions for those working in prostitution much more "dangerous."

"She have to protect her customers in order to keep them. She's exposed to all sorts of criminals, psychos, sadists, because she must protect the customer... A lot of Swedish hookers get killed because they can't call the Police any more. Because if they call the Police, the word goes around that they put a call to the cops and they lose all their customers. So a lot of women have got killed, and men. Prostitutes, sex workers. Just like me."

The younger people who are entering into prostitution are becoming more vulnerable because of the lack of education about issues facing those in prostitution.

"I have tried to explain that we should instead, have classes, on sex work. To do it more safe, and better- especially for the younger generation of sex workers in this country now. All the Swedish Government does is abstract our work of trying to make it easier for the younger ones. It's very difficult in Sweden right now. Very, very, difficult.  Specially the health question.  The health question, it's in the air and nobody seems to care about it...Well, one of the worse consequences with this law, is that there comes a lot of underage prostitution in Sweden."  

This is only a guess, but what she may be referring to when she says "abstracting our work" is that some in the counter trafficking movement have framed the work of some health care and social workers as work that "legitimizes" prostitution and that "provides medical services and condoms to enslaved people and ignores the slavery." But I am only guessing here.

The combination of pushing prostitution into the shadows and the vulnerability of younger people entering the prostitution scene has contributed to the entrance of human traffickers into Sweden's prostitution scene -Russian organized crime in this case.

"The Mafia come inside- the Russian Mafia that has nothing to do with Sweden... come into Sweden with a lot of kidnapped young girls, older womens, all ages."

The Swedish laws are making it harder for those working in prostitution to raise their children. She ties that into the prices of prostitution falling in Norway because of an increase in people working in prostitution coming from Sweden.

"I have to put my children in Portugal (her father's family is in Portugal -edited out)...before the Welfare comes and take them away... It's very easy for a prostitute to lose her children now in Sweden.

Swedish sex workers now go to Norway...of course, if I live...7 hours I can't go back home every day. And that means that I have to have a baby-sitter...I have to trust that baby-sitter very much....it overloads the Norwegian sex market....their prices in Norway have caved down, because of the Swedish law... the normal sex worker, who has children in Norway, and bills to pay, is resenting very much because, she doesn't get enough money any more to pay her bills."

Rosinha states that the conditions of those working in prostitution are not really of concern to the Swedish government. What is more important is Sweden's global political image.

"Well, the problem is that Sweden lives on the looks- how does it look like for the rest of the world. That's the most important for the Swedish Government. They wanna look good, but they don't really care, how are we do it. [I think that should be "how are we doing."]

But of course, Sweden is very far away from most of the rest of this planet, so not everybody go to Sweden every month to see how the hookers are doing."

She closes her address with a request to bring more attention to the ramifications of the Swedish approach.

"...that's why I'm sitting here, talking to you today. And that's also why, I wanna call a very huge SOS to Sweden, because all countries, trying to copy Sweden in this obviously terrible, and worthless, and fruitless law. I want to call your attention, because Sweden, it's, a very strong example, where that position can bring us to.  Where the law, so-called law and order can bring us to...

All countries have their eyes on Sweden, in this issue, and that's why I'm here, for one more time to appeal to all my colleagues, from all over the world."

by aden on Sun Jun 11th, 2006 at 05:14:24 PM EST
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