Recruiting prostitutes: Every seventh woman in Estonia has been asked
The Open Society Institute’s poll says every seventh woman in Estonia has been approached with the proposal to become a prostitute. One in three Russian-speaking women has received a proposal to become a prostitute. Among Estonian-speaking women, every 10th has received the proposal.
OSI estimates there are between 2,000 and 3,000 prostitutes in Estonia, making Estonia’s number of prostitutes two times higher than the European average. “A decisive moment is arriving for Estonia. The choice must be made whether to let the prostitution business operate as it has so far and sacrifice more young women into the sex trade or implement legislation similar to Sweden,” said OSI poll organizers. Sweden criminalized buying sex in 1999; the Finnish parliament is discussing a similar possibility this spring. Estonian law does not criminalize the purchase of sex but rather finds the middleman, or pimp, guilty.