Finnish sex work sites closed down by Spanish police

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Finnish websites used by sex workers to advertise and share information with each other have been closed down following a judicial warrant by Spanish police. The websites, Sihteeriopisto (Secretary College) and the international counterpart, sexworknet, were launched in Finland but was maintenance was moved overseas following changes to sex work laws in Finland in 2003. Spanish police issued the warrant on 26th March, since which point the websites have been unavailable. 

Sex workers report the website had a private forum for sex workers only, which was used to share information and warnings about bad clients. A sex worker in Spain said: "The sex workers are shocked. The website had forum, where sex workers were sharing warnings about bad clients, robbery. It had a private area for sex workers only. There are of course other websites, but none of them has a forum. We lost the platform, where we could share safety tips, where we could communicate and support each other." 

Finnish news reported that the police was initially unaware of why the sites had been closed down. These closures follow closures of similar websites in other countries, including in the USA following FOSTA-SESTA. These include websites used to share resources and information, such as bad date lists, between sex workers. Spain recently proposed legislation to introduce the Nordic Model, which criminalises the purchase of sexual services.