Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Forensic and Investigative Science

Committee Chair

Robert Blobaum

Committee Co-Chair

Katherine Aaslestad

Committee Member

Joshua Arthurs

Committee Member

Mark R Tinsley


Human trafficking is a human rights problem affecting all regions of the world. Various approaches have been utilized in attempts to eliminate the trade in human beings. In 1999, Sweden instituted a law to ban the purchase of sexual services, viewing prostitution as inherently violent and a contributing factor of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. This thesis determines that banning the purchase of sex is a legitimate and effective measure in combatting human trafficking for sexual exploitation. This thesis then discusses the Estonian sex industry and the possibilities for implementation of a similar sex purchase ban. Obstacles include Estonia's historical economic preferences and comparatively lower level of government involvement in social issues. At the present time, the Estonian government is increasing its participation in anti-human trafficking initiatives, the most important of which was the creation of a provision criminalizing human trafficking as a crime itself, rather than as an aggravating factor of another crime. There is also a debate in both civil society and on the governmental level concerning the legal status of prostitution. These developments indicate a possibility that Estonia could soon adopt a law similar to Sweden's, which would ban the purchase of sex.