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Mostly foreign According to Michelle Mildwater — the founder of HopeNow, an impartial NGO that assists and empowers trafficked persons in Denmark — the majority of prostitutes on Istedgade are from African or eastern European countries. Lausten describes his neighbourhood as having altered dramatically in recent years.
And the fact it is foreign women makes the people in Vesterbro feel disconnected from their plight. The Nordic Brothel Prostitution has been legal in Denmark since However, it still remains a criminal offence to purchase sex from a minor under the age of 18, to own a brothel or to procure sex.
The rules in Denmark are much more relaxed than in the other Nordic countries, which have made the decision to criminalise all aspects involved in buying sex selling is mostly permitted and to categorise prostitution as violence against women.
According to Nadia Jung — a former employee at Reden, an organisation for prostitutes and abused women — there is a familiar twang to most of them. Of their own free will Danish groups remain polarised on the topic: Christian Groes-Green, an associate professor at the Department of Culture and Identity at Roskilde University, has conducted research into sex worker migration into Europe from southern Africa and concludes that the debate is not so cut and dried.
Unhappiness a myth The Sexual Political Forum SPF — a group formed in by researchers, sexologists and artists with the shared opinion that all women, including foreign women, should have the authority over their sexuality outside the remit of state intervention — wants prostitution to be recognised as a legitimate profession.