A woman lawmaker from an anti-immigrant Danish political party said on Wednesday that men should visit only Danish prostitutes to help combat trafficking of foreign sex workers.
“I think we should try to stop this trafficking and that means it’s best if they don’t go to a foreign girl,” Pia Adelsteen of the Danish People’s Party (DPP) told AFP.
Her remarks came after a poll by the Ministry for Gender Equality showed that one in seven Danish men believe it is acceptable to use a prostitute who has been the victim of trafficking.
“I think we should look into whether there’s anything that can be done so that prostitutes could show that they have chosen this for themselves,” she said.
“I have nothing against men paying for sex, or women for that matter.”
Denmark is the only country in the Nordic region to allow both the sale and purchase of sex.
But the sex trade remains in a legal grey area, with prostitutes required to pay taxes without being covered by labour laws or the country’s generous unemployment benefits.
Half of Denmark’s prostitutes come from abroad, the National Board of Social Services said in a 2010 report, including 900 from Thailand, 1,000 from central and eastern Europe, and 300 from Africa, mostly Nigeria.
The DPP was a key ally of Denmark’s centre-right government for a decade until 2011 and pushed through through some of Europe’s most stringent immigration regulations.
These included barring Danes under the age of 24 from bringing in a spouse who was not an EU citizen, and a system favouring immigrants with jobs and Western language skills.