Rape crisis prevention centre Stígamót believes there is a strong suspicion that prostitution services are being offered for sale in the classified ads of newspapers.
The ads that have drawn particular attention have been published most recently in Fréttablaðið. The ads are written in English, offering “whole body massage” or “Brazilian massage.” A spokesperson from Stígamót, speaking on an afternoon radio show on Rás 2, believes these are ads for prostitution, and that organised crime and human trafficking are involved.
Björgvin G. Björgvinsson, supervisor of the sex crimes division of the police, agrees completely.
“I think there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “We’ve already had a witness in the matter, and the ad makes it clear that this is not going to be a regular massage – that it will include prostitution.”
The ads themselves, though, are not illegal, and Björgvin says that the matter needs to be approached carefully.
“We’re looking at [these ads] with our lawyers, trying to see if there’s some kind of middleman involved.”
While street prostitution in Iceland is virtually unheard of, there have been cases of women from other countries – usually eastern Europe – who have been enticed to Iceland under false pretences, only to be caught in human trafficking and forced prostitution.