Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Saturday, May 22, 1999 Published at 22:14 GMT 23:14 UK


World: Europe

Norway tackles Arctic vice



Norwegian authorities are struggling to control the rise in cross-border sex tourism in the northern provinces of Finnmark and Troms inside the Arctic circle.


Tony Samstag on the social effects of the Russian influx
Increasing numbers of Russian prostitutes travelling across the border between Norway and Russia was one of the earliest consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russian women regularly travel across the border by the busload, scattering through the sparsely-populated northern regions.

Legal loophole

Lured by the prospect of earning Norwegian kröne, the Russian prostitutes take advantage of the fact that the sex trade is legal in Norway


[ image: Prostitutes come in from Russia by the busload]
Prostitutes come in from Russia by the busload
Laws against engaging in prostitution in public places are rarely enforced.

Since the relaxation of Soviet-era border controls, Norwegians have also crossed the frontier in search of sex - mainly to the city of Murmansk, where sexual favours can be bought for as little as a bottle of vodka.

The government in Oslo, hundreds of kilometres south of the affected provinces, is deeply concerned about the spiralling trade, and its disruptive effects on Norwegian society.

The damage has been most serious in small, isolated communities where families have broken up, drunkenness and violence have increased, and organised crime has moved in.


[ image: In Murmansk, sexual favours cost as little as a bottle of vodka]
In Murmansk, sexual favours cost as little as a bottle of vodka
The public health department of the Ministry for Social Affairs in Oslo is co-operating with an international campaign run by the European Institute for HIV Prevention in Prostitution.

The group says most of the Russian prostitutes work in massage-parlours, an ever more familiar sight in Norway's large cities, and in escort work

The government itself is considering stricter border controls and the deportation of convicted prostitutes from the Russian Federation.

In addition, a public relations firm has been hired by the provincial authorities to launch a campaign promoting safe sex and family values.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

09 Jan 99 | Europe
Vice vote gets low turn-out





Internet Links


Government of Norway

European Institute for HIV Prevention in Prostitution


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift