Aleksandra Avramovic Stefanovic

The path to EHS, education and professional career

Which program did you study at EHS?

The master’s program in human rights.

What topic did you write about in your essay

JI chose to write my essay about the sex trade in Sweden. You can read it here: The new Swedish sex trade – A description

What made you write about that topic?

I knew I wanted to write about women’s rights and equality. However, I was torn about what exactly within these topics I should write about. It wasn’t until I sat with my family and discussed it that we got into the subject of the sex trade and I started googling it, that I realized that maybe I should write about this. After more time on google, I had so many questions that I wanted answered. That’s when I decided to write about the sex trade and then focus on the effects and impact of the internet and the Swedish Selling of Sex Act on today’s sex trade. In addition I wanted to examine how state and non-state actors work to secure the basic human rights of safety and provide an adequate safety net for people who sell sex.

What was the most important thing that you came up with in the essay?

That the sex trade is a complex phenomenon that is usually seen from the feminist perspective, but that it is a phenomenon that is constantly changing. This has contributed to new forms of sex trafficking involving many different people with different gender identities. For example, the usual pattern of it is no longer the classic sex trade where women sell sex on Malmskillnadsgatan but rather the majority of the sex trade has moved onto the internet. The respondents in the study also reported that there are a large number of gays and bisexuals as well as transgender people and young men who sell sex. These groups are often excluded from the prevailing discourse because the sex trade in Sweden is usually discussed from a feminist perspective.

It was also clear that there is an intersectionality with the sex trade, which is a field that deals with more than women which can only be seen from a feminist starting point. When you see things only from a feminist perspective when it comes to the sex trade, a large part of today’s sex workers become invisible. This, in turn, contributes to stigmatization and increased inequality. As for the existing safety net in Sweden, it is deficient. The non-profit organizations that work in this field are heavily dependent on financial funding from their members, which means that the number of people they can help and support is limited. With regard to the work of the authorities, mainly the social services, it is unclear what kind of support and help is available, where it can be found and who will offer it. Due to this development and the digitalization of the sex trade, as well as a prevailing ignorance, a discussion beyond the feminist perspective has become increasingly important. It simply requires a broader discussion based on a human rights perspective that simultaneously reflects and respects societal morals and values.

What do you think people working on these issues can learn from your essay?

To address the intersectionality that exists within this field, discuss, help develop to increase information for those who find themselves in the sex trade. But we need to dare to raise questions like these: What does it actually look like? Who is it that sells sex? Where do they sell sex? What kind of safety net is there for these people? Is it enough? Dare to discuss the sex trade! Because right now, this issue is still very stigmatized, which contributes to a great deal of damage both to society and also to those who sell sex.

What do you do now that you have finished your education with us?

I recently got a summer job at Försäkringskassan in Gävle and work as an insurance administrator for activity support, development compensation and establishment compensation.