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In the EU, 95% of all persons trafficked for sexual exploitation are women and girls.

Criminalising the purchase of sexual services has been considered by some States as a way to reduce demand for sexual services that fuels trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

How do EU countries approach criminalisation of sex purchases


countries where the purchase of sexual services is criminalised

France, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland


countries where use of (sexual) services of trafficked person is a criminal offence

Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, UK (excl. Nothern Ireland)

About Desire

Our mission is to contribute to the prevention of trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation.

How? By generating a better understanding of the impact of different legislative and policy approaches to sex work on the demand for such services.

We are a group of researchers and NGO-workers who aim to understand how law and policy can change the landscape of human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Europe. Our mission is to identify, develop and share effective best practices on how reducing the demand for sexual services by trafficked persons may prevent trafficking in human beings.

The research of DESIrE is qualitative, geographically informed and focused on prevention. The aim is to have a real impact on the trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation in Europe.