Instigator / Pro

The Nordic Model Should Be Adopted


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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Contender / Con

The Nordic Model says that buying from a prostitute is illegal, but selling as a prostitute is legal.

I'm adopting Wrick-It-Ralph's debating form.

R1: Opening Arguments
R2: Rebuttals to R1 Only
R3: Rejoinders
R4: Interrogation Questions
R5: Answer Questions and Conclusion

Round 1

 The Nordic Model says that buying from a prostitute is illegal and selling is legal.

  1. Prostitutes are frequently abused by their customers.
  2. Prostitution increases human trafficking.
  3. The Nordic Model stops the criminalization of women.
Premise 1

Prostitutes frequently become abused by their customers. A study in San Francisco showed that 62% of prostitutes in massage parlors have been beaten by their customers. The homicide rate for prostituted women in Colorado is seven times higher than the most dangerous job for men. [1] 
The problem with illegal prostitution is that there are still people that do it, and then those people are afraid to report the abuses they receive because they’ll be arrested for it.
However, the Nordic model makes it so that prostitutes won't have to be afraid to report abuses to authorities.

Premise 2

When prostitution becomes legal, groups can then take that opportunity to start trafficking people.

"One study with data from 150 countries found that those with “legalized prostitution experience a larger reported incidence of trafficking inflows. . . . Another quantitative analysis similarly reported that sex trafficking is “most prevalent in countries where prostitution is legalized. " [1]
However, in the Nordic Model, buying is still illegal, so this hurts human traffickers tremendously because their customers are afraid to buy because they could be arrested for it.
Premise 3
Women are criminalized when they become prostitutes. They are treated unfairly and receive less than others do. The Nordic Model stops this and makes their lives a little better.

Take note of structure

Con is disallowed to rebuke Pro in this Round, this means that all ‘head-on collision’ between Con’s opening points are coincidental and not angled against Pro’s case itself but against the resolution as a whole.

Con does not seek to take the typical counter-plan to the Nordic Model. Con seeks to legalise and enable prostitution in two ways:

  1. The legalisation of prostitution done by the self, for the self or a group with no apparent Pimp or hierarchy that is more of an ‘escort collective’ of sorts. In this scenario Pimping would be illegal as would owning an official brothel.
  2. The legalisation of Pimping with business in the industry officially getting licensed, audited and paying tax.

Con is fully aware that plan 1 would have plan 2 outlawed but both plans are ones that Con is going to use in arguing against the Nordic Model in both:

  1. Its means of tackling abuse of women and pressuring into prostitution.
  2. The end-goal being to end prostitution.

In handling these 2 angles of the Nordic Model Con may very well accidentally rebuke Pro’s current Round 1, it should be noted that this is not rebuttal and is a necessary component of the opening case against the Nordic Model.

What would porn be without cameras? Lap-dancing and stripping what would it/they be if able to become more?

The angle Con wishes to take here isn’t one of ‘porn is legal, so prostitution should be’ in itself. Rather, Con would like us to agree that there are industries that do everything except the behind-the-camera direct sex that prostitution would do (not does, would do if a legally conducted business in the areas where it’s outlawed).

The notion that 'it can't work because it's barely legal anywhere in the world' fails to support the end-goal of the Nordic model being sufficiently held against the following concept:

In decriminalising the market, many of the barriers sex workers face are removed. Facing no legal comeuppance, there would be no reason for sex workers not to seek assistance from the police. There would be an incentive to provide better infrastructure, such as increased security measures, when the threat of a police raid on the brothel is removed.

Other cases of decriminalised sex work have warranted such positive results. Perhaps the best (and most obvious) example of this is the Netherlands, who famously take a very tolerant, laissez-faire approach to prostitution. There, sex workers operate in an environment of security cameras, police patrols, and other safety measures. What’s more, is that workers have access to healthcare and STD checks. In bringing the market to the surface, the Netherlands has done a fantastic job of protecting the well-being of sex workers and their customers.

Decriminalisation has also helped the Dutch economy. The revenue of the Dutch sex trade stands at around $800 million (€625 million) a year. As a visible, regulated market, this money goes to the workers and businesses themselves (as well as 33 per cent in tax revenue for the Dutch government), rather than into the pockets of criminals and human traffickers.

Despite the success of the Dutch market, as well as the other evidence supporting the benefits of a legalised sex trade, some are already calling for an end to the aforementioned Leeds red light district. Locals complain about the increase in sexual activity, as well as other negative externalities such as discarded contraceptives or drug paraphernalia. Politicians argue that decriminalisation has not done enough to protect sex workers from coercion, drug addiction, or STDs.

However, many of these negative externalities do not stem from the existence of a free sex market in itself, but from illegal activity. According to the local paper Leeds Live, the rules of the district state that the sale and use of drugs remain prohibited, as does public sex, littering, and other forms of anti-social behaviour. Meanwhile, common complaints from locals revolve around discarded needles and other unsavoury litter, as well as misbehaving patrons causing disturbances.

Many of the issues posed by the district do not seem to stem from the free market itself, but from generally antisocial, illegal behaviour. As such, to blame the hands-off approach is something of a fallacy, and a better solution would be to iron-out these issues, rather than simply shutting the district down.

As an alternative to the laissez-faire approach, some propose a Nordic model whereby sex work itself is decriminalised but purchasing sex remains an offence. The idea behind this is to protect the workers while deterring consumption, which would theoretically reduce the size of the market over time.

Yet this model lacks many of the advantages of a well-implemented legal market, and would bring with it a far greater deal of restrictions on consumer choice, as well as potential risks for further harm against sex workers. After all, the kind of person who would knowingly harm a sex worker is not the kind to be dissuaded by criminalisation; if buying sex is criminalised, then only criminals will buy sex.

This is precisely what we have seen happen in Ireland, where the Nordic model was introduced in 2017. Since then, violent crime against sex workers has almost doubled. Consumers, sceptical of potential intrusions from the Gardai, make sure to check that the worker is alone before engagement.

Let’s not give up on laissez-faire. While the Leeds trial was far from perfect, the idea behind it has been seen to function well, protecting the well-being of sex workers and customers without the need for paternalistic intervention as in the Nordic model. Our first red light district might need some reform, but there’s no reason to throw away the free market model just yet.

The reason Con quotes the argument there is it truly cannot be worded better other than superficially paraphrasing for the sake of avoiding plagiarism. The fact of the matter is that when illegal, it is obvious that the type of women (and men, for that matter) who end up in prostitution are going to feel victimised and brutally at a loss, like their body is an object for others to use since the entire concept involves blackmail and 'don't you dare tell' strategy that drives the Nordic Model forth.

The Nordic Model is rooted in a false concept of what prostitution could be by relaying stories of women traumatised by the unregulated, non-tax-paying prostitution rings that require human trafficking and all the horrors involved with it in order to maintain themselves.2.3

It's true that the Nordic Model does a good job of making a legal loophole that enables snitching from prostitutes to come far easier. It does this especially well when the one abusing them has broken the law of even hiring them in the first place.2 On the other hand, while the prostitute is completely entitled to opt out of snitching on their Pimps, but then why would they be snitching to the cops when the Pimp can get enforcers to discipline the abusive 'John'?1,3

The Nordic Model is entirely dedicated to rooting out abusive Johns from the equation but when Brothels, Pimping and everything involved with prostituting is illegal then what's left to stop the Pimps needing to clamp down, blackmail or outsource and human-smuggle (AKA human trafficking) to get their 'products'?

Self-employment already exists and under plan 1 of Con, this would work perfectly well. For this Round, this should be a fairly obvious fact, Con will provide more sources for this and the viability of it in later Rounds as needed.

Businesses are ultimately either LLC or Corporation. For small-scale brothels an LLC would suffice but you could even start to see proper corporations form once the societies begin to accept it. Sex is taboo, that's half the reason it's hot, there's no need to criminalise the selling of oneself for it when all the harms come from the illegal nature of it and the blackmailing involved in keeping the prostitutes quiet. Sourcing for this, will have the same approach as the above point.

In fact this one angle 'what is porn without the cameras and lapdancing with a little more on top?' is very significant to understanding how it all would work. It's a service industry. The morality of it should be the same as the morality of anything that disgusts but only harms due illegality; people should learn to get over themselves and the activities that disgust perhaps should stay behind closed doors (unless it's a voyeur fetish hiring of prostitutes as in-house long-term kinky maids or something, then closed doors can be further 'out'... lol?)

The Nordic Model is pseudo liberalism designed to make everything about hunting down people who hire prostitutes and maybe even the Pimps handling them, much easier as you reduce the prostitutes' fear (of going broke by losing their profession or having threats acted upon if they snitch). Con stands here very simply saying, that the following practises on the legalised self-employment plan (the first one) or the organised business legalisation plan (latter plan) would include the following:

Thorough, Regular Audits
Among many factors (like keeping track of transactions) this would most importantly include:
Speak with employees regarding their impressions of the company's commitment to ethics. Take this opportunity to ask them to share their experiences about co-workers, managers and executives. Make sure all employees know their interviews are confidential and that honest answers will help to improve their organisations. Insiders know a large amount of information that the public, the press and government regulators are not aware of. Not every breach of ethics is illegal, either, and employees can be an insightful source of information on legal breaches of ethics occurring on a regular basis.

To make this information more quantitative, look for patterns in the responses you receive and record the number of times specific issues come up. If you find employees frequently speaking about management's rude treatment of females, for example, note the number of times the issue came up and calculate the percentage of interviewees who mentioned it.

Ethics Audit
An investigation into how well (or poorly) a company conforms to the ethical standards of its industry or society generally. An ethics audit may consider the company's own practices, how it redresses grievances, how it discloses its finances, whether it punishes whistleblowers, and even the general cultural surrounding its business dealings. Some companies may formally adopt a code of ethics and conduct periodic ethics audits to see how closely they follow their own rules.
- 5

Professional 'whore-training' programs (this is not a joke)
The Nordic Model's framework of ethics counters legalisation prostitution primarily by saying that even if prostitution was made entirely legal then the exploitation would still happen and that all women are the 'type of women' who get traumatised by the very objectification of their bodies alone. This bare assertion is based on the idea that in the realm of legal prostitution there wouldn't, or couldn't, be proper training not just of how to please men but how to ensure you as a worker are being treated ethically and are healthy mentally. There could be not only regular highly encouraged (if not mandatory) shrink/therapist sessions for the workers (as it is such a demanding walk of life, which Con concedes to Pro) but if you truly have the right kinks, psychology and outlook on the profession and life it should not be an outlawed profession. After all, is there some healthier way for the men to get their rocks off than hiring consenting adults? Do you think a 'date' where the entire motive is to have orgasms is going to end well?

Prostitution is not an unhealthy profession, illegal gangsters and those who work with them are always psychologically unhealthy professions. When it's legal and fully regulated, with the correct information going out and such, there's little room to keep asserting that the women will stay traumatised, but the stigma against the profession is not going to 'disappear' and it will indeed require a thick skin but that's a given with many professions, such as being a cop for some, being an attorney for others, being a rapper for some and being a fast food restaurant worker for others. Stigma exists against some jobs but Con firmly asserts that this shouldn't be reason to make the jobs illegal.

[1] Mason, R. (2018). Legalising prostitution is the best way to stop trafficking and violence. [online] CapX. Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2019].
[2] Nordic Model Now!. (n.d.). What is the Nordic Model?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2019].
[3] Okyere, S. and Thesslund, E. (2019). The false promise of the Nordic model of sex work. [online] openDemocracy. Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2019].
[4] (n.d.). How to Conduct an Ethical Audit. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2019].
[5] (2019). Ethics Audit. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Apr. 2019].
Round 2
My opponent makes the main argument that prostitutes don't need to "snitch" if they can simply be guarded by people hired by their employers. However, this does not address the situation of prostitutes who work only for themselves. Those people don't receive any protection at all when prostitution is illegal.

Yes, there is the avenue of completely legalizing it and making it a valid business. However, studies show that human trafficking rates increase when prostitution is illegal (as shown in my previous round). Another problem is that they are much more likely to get STI's, and they are also likely to get paid more if they don't use condoms. This is clearly a dangerous profession.

Regular audits don't provide anything for individual prostitutes. All it does is motivate the business to stay safe, but it fails to provide a real definition of "safe" and only works in a business environment. "Training" does nothing for those who can't afford it and I fail to see how it stops STI's.
The Nordic nations (but opposition of the Nordic model of prostitution) of Denmark6 and Finland7 both follow method 1 of Con's solution, as do most nations where it's actually legal to be a prostitute. The concept of both handling abusive Johns and abusive Pimps is one that is completely handled in the non-Nordic model of making it legal to hire a prostitute on top of making is legal to be one. The only reason why you'd make it legal to be a prostitute while making it totally illegal to hire them is to intentionally make a corrupt legal system where the prostitutes can only make cash by being hired by criminals or people willing to risk going to prison and you also keep Prostitution illegal, meaning everyone involved is tied to the criminal underworld. This requires many things to happen, including money laundering and blackmail, in order to keep the business running (especially for the prostitute herself, or himself).

The harms that women experience are all solved when you make it both legal to be a prostitute and legal to hire them. In these nations the hiring of Prostitutes, if done consensually in an exchange behind closed doors, is completely legal as is being one. This is undeniably fairer and less pseudo-liberal than making it legal to sell your body for sex but illegal to hire it and use it for that purpose.

Con supports all three contentions by Pro. Con disagrees that the solution is to end prostitution by targetting the buyers, instead you must legalise it so that the Pimps of the criminal underworld lose their monopoly on it.

Sources Continued:

[6] U.S. Department of State. (2008). Denmark. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Apr. 2019].
[7] U.S. Department of State. (2008). Finland. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Apr. 2019].
Round 3
My opponent argues that he agrees with my premises, but instead proposes that legalizing prostitution altogether will be a better solution because it doesn’t subject prostitutes to working with criminals (the customers). The major problem with this is that, as I wrote in my first round, human trafficking rates are higher in countries where prostitution is legalized. This is something that is not regulated when prostitution is legalized and is a very serious problem. Besides that, legalizing prostitution encourages the act, which in turn increases the spread of STI’s (as noted in my previous round.

Overall, the Nordic Model stops this growing human trafficking problem that is evident when prostitution is legalized and still gives prostitutes some kind of freedom that they otherwise would not have if it was illegal. It is a balance between the two to get as many benefits and as little disadvantages as possible from both.

Human trafficking is not higher in countries where it's legalised. This is utter nonsense that Pro made up. If you legalise it, there is no room for human trafficking in the first place because everyone will be on record as a licensed prostitute and there'll be no demand for it either as even the exotic ones will be legally immigrated workers.

The entire case of Pro is based on lies. In fact the very nature of the Nordic Model is to lie and make a loophole that lets it appear that the nation is becoming liberal towards prostitution while fucking over, pun intended, every single person lining the pockets of the prostitutes doing that for a living.

The reason that Pro's model isn't good is that it not only indeed forces prostitutes to still be entirely illegal managed and hired but it only hurts the Johns, not the Pimps. If a John is entirely at the mercy of the cartel and they can legally screw the John over (John means man who hires a prostitutes, Jane is the female equivalent) then it will result in complete inability for the prostitutes to deal with the 'nice Johns' as the very people willing to risk the crime are usually prone to criminal behaviour anyway. This is so simple to understand that Pro even concedes it and simply says that in Con's counterplan things are worse... Except, they aren't.

You see, the reason why human trafficking was caught better is that when Denmark and such nations employ legal prostitution, minus the business, they also begin to far easier spot and encourage snitching from the part of the Johns as to who is doing what in their country (Denmark doesn't follow the Nordic Model, it saw the flaws that Con has pointed out). 

So, on paper, a few dozen more Human Trafficked women were spotted in progressing years following the legalisation of prostitution but this is because of better surveillance. It should also be noted that Denmark and even the non-Nordic oh-so-famous nation of The Netherlands, are all bordering not only the Nordic nations of Norway and Sweden (which have the Nordic Model in full) but will also be attracting activity from anyone trying to escape a nation where as a prostitute all they have ever dealt with is abuse at the hands of criminals not wanting to get caught, ever. The idea that prostitutes would willingly be trafficked (yes, you read that right) into nations like Denmark and The Netherlands, or even Vegas from neighbouring US States, is not that ridiculous to assume.

The reason that even nations following Plan 1 of Con end up with such issue is that they aren't fully registered businesses. This means unless you want to be solo, you have to bend the rules and willingly find a Pimp of some sort who can get you hooked up. This is the whole issue with the taboo nature of prostitution as a business, when it's illegal. 
Round 4
  1. What’s your opinion on the way prostitution is currently being handled in the United States?
  2. Do you think that prostitution is ethical?
  3. Do you think that prostitution poses a medical problem for its tenants?
  4. What do you think the worst and best parts of the Nordic Model are?
  5. Do you think it’s ok for children to participate (willingly) in prostitution?

Why do you want to make it illegal for there to be prostitute hirers but not illegal for them to do business other than to feign liberalism while maintaining conservatism?

I will not answer question 5. It is illegal to answer yes, don't suggest that thank you.

Rest answered next round.
Round 5
The answer to all is that I support prostitution being legal, I think it's fine if no abuse or cheating of any severe nature is going on and that it can function legally as a business.