Iceland’s Parliament debates on striptease

07:58, March 17, 2010      

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The Icelandic Parliament is debating on a bill proposing a ban on striptease in Iceland to be effective on July first, according to report reaching here from Reykjavik today.

An evaluation by the Capital Region Police states that around a hundred foreign women come to Iceland annually to dance at strip clubs and that it has proven difficult to determine whether they are being forced into such practices, a report from Iceland Review quoted as saying.

The evaluation concludes that clubs should not be permitted to organize striptease on the grounds of human rights, the public’s interest and policing.

European investigations show that women who work at strip clubs are often victims of various abuse because of poverty, alcohol or drug addiction. In many cases they are victims of human trafficking and other crimes, the report said.

The parliament’s General Committee concludes that in light of the information from police authorities it is highly likely that some of the women working in strip clubs in Iceland don’t enjoy full personal rights and are possibly victims of human trafficking or other abuse.

The bill therefore proposes the abolishment of a legal exemption which permits clubs to stage striptease for profit. An unequivocal ban on striptease and profiting from the nudity of employees or other attendees of clubs is recommended, the report said.

Minister of Social Affairs presented an action plan against human trafficking last March to put a ban on operating strip clubs and purchasing sexual services, an earlier report from Iceland Review said.

After the presentation of the action plan, MP for the Left-Greens Atli Gislason presented a bill on banning the purchase of sexual services, which is backed by other MPs from the government parties and the Progressive Party.

The new bill will not criminalize the solicitation of sex, which was described as the “Swedish approach” to combating human trafficking.

In 2007, with an amendment to existing legislation, prostitution was legalized in Iceland as long as a third party doesn’t profit from it.

By Xuefei Chen, People’s Daily Online reporter in Stockholm, [email protected]

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