A bill proposing a ban on striptease in Iceland as of July 1 will be discussed in Althingi, the Icelandic parliament, today.
From the strip club Goldfinger. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
An evaluation by the Capital Region Police states that around hundred foreign women come to Iceland annually to dance at strip clubs and that it has proven difficult to determine whether they are being forced into such practices, ruv.is reports.
The evaluation concludes that clubs should not be permitted to organize striptease on the grounds of human rights, the public’s interest and policing.
European investigations show that women who work at strip clubs are often victims of various abuse because of poverty, alcohol or drug addiction. In many cases they are victims of human trafficking and other crimes.
The parliament’s General Committee concludes that in light of the information from police authorities it is highly likely that some of the women working in strip clubs in Iceland don’t enjoy full personal rights and are possibly victims of human trafficking or other abuse.
The bill therefore proposes the abolishment of a legal exemption which permits clubs to stage striptease for profit. An unequivocal ban on striptease and profiting from the nudity of employees or other attendees of clubs is recommended.
Ásgeir Thór Davídsson, the owner of the strip club Goldfinger in Kópavogur, said in a radio interview on Rás 2 this morning that he is dissatisfied with plans to abolish the exemption for striptease.
Davídsson said he doesn’t understand why people are confusing stripping with human trafficking. He stated that human trafficking does not take place at his club, pointing out that some of the women working there have been there for five to ten years or even longer.
Half of his employees are Icelandic, Davídsson added. Others travel the world and come back, which they wouldn’t do if there was something criminal going on, he argued. He said he is absolutely certain that his employees are content with their work.
Click here to read about an earlier bill on banning the operations of strip clubs.