Prostitution is legal. Persons who let their bodies be exposed to
sexual actions in their professions or make such actions to others
shall be registered and undergo a weekly medical examination to
avoid sexually transmitted diseases. Procurement is illegal.
Procurement is illegal. As of 1995 it is legal to rent premises
for the purpose of prostitution, if the prostitutes do not make
"abnormal profits". Prostitution is legal if one does not disturb
the public order, by openly providing sexual services. Several
proposals to change the current law has been put to the senate
recently, including laws similar to the Dutch and the Swedish. There
is no information at the moment as to which path Belgium will take,
but the present law will probably change soon.
As of 1 July 1999, it is not a criminal offence to buy or sell sex, except where
this involves children under 18 years of age. Prostitution used to be allowed
only as a supplementary income, but as of 1998 a new law allows people to have
their whole income based on prostitution. Prostitutes can register themselves as
independent workers. Procurement is illegal. Sexual services are advertised very
Prostitution is not criminal but local municipalities can prohibit street
prostitution in their local laws. Since December 1999 prostitution is prohibited
in public areas. However, it is not a criminal offence to buy sex, except where
this involves children under 18 years of age. A proposal similar to the Swedish
law, penalising the client, has been debated.
New law in force from April 2016
purchase of sex is now a crime in France.
While the maximum fine is 1,500
or euro 3,500 for repeat
offenders, most of the first 250 victims of the new law who who
admitted to paying for sex were fined between
Prostitution is legal and highly regulated, but only in state-licensed brothels.
Brothels are not allowed on a distance less than 200 metres from public
buildings. A proposal for a new law which would cut that distance in half, to
facilitate prostitution during the Olympic Games in Athens 2004 was recently
debated, but the Greek government decided in December 2003 not to submit the
New Law passed in 2016 coming into force in
has approved a new law that makes it illegal to have sex with
prostitutes without using a condom. According to a report in the
Independent, brothel owners will now be expected to make their
customers aware of the new law and inform them that unprotected sex
will be banned.
The law has been approved by Bundesrat, Germany's upper house of
Parliament. It will now be sent to President Joachim Gauck for his
approval. The law will come into force on July 1, 2017,
The new law will also make licensing mandatory for all brothels
so that they would comply with all rules and meet legal standards.
Sex wrkers will also be expected to register with the local police
who will issue certificates that would require a renewal every two
years. The sex workers will also be required to attend a health
advice session once in a year.
Those violating the law, including sex workers, pimps, buyers or
brothel owners, could face fines from
1,000 to 50,000.
Brothel owners could also be stripped off their license.
Prostitution is legal but all the Bundesländer (except for Berlin) have
regulated certain areas where prostitution may not be practised, such as, areas
close to schools and child care centers.
The law which came into force 2002 allows prostitutes to have a social
insurance, be on paid sick leave and receive a pension, if they are hired on a
brothel or own a company. Few own companies however and so far no one has been
employed (September 2003), because of the decrease in income. Foreign women are
not covered by the law. Employment agencies can advertise and recruit for such
All kind of prostitution are illegal- procurement, selling sexual services,
keeping brothels, and buying sex from underage persons.
Under the current law from 1958, brothels and procurement are illegal, but not
prostitution. Prostitution is considered to be an offence of disturbing the
public order, and there is a recent proposal aimed at allowing brothels but not
Procurement is prohibited, as is the keeping of brothels. Buying sex from
children under 18 is illegal, but prostitution in itself is not a criminal
On the 1st of October 2000, a ban on Dutch brothels from 1911 was lifted. In
January 2001 prostitution was considered a profession like any other.
Prostitutes have the right to claim hygienic working conditions, security at the
workplace, and so on. They shall have a working condition and pay income tax.
"Forced" prostitution and procurement are illegal. After a case where an
employment agency offered a position as a prostitute to a woman seeking
employment, the Dutch Social ministry have stated that the brothels may
advertise through employment agencies but the agencies must not actively offer
such positions to women who come and seek work.
It is an offence for people to buy sex in Norway.
It is an offence for Norwegians to buy sex when abroad.
It is not a criminal offence to sell sex, but procurement and procuring and
facilitating prostitution are illegal. The law does not mention male
prostitution, only female. The exploitation of men is not a criminal offence.
News March 2016: Customers criminalised
Amendments to the public nuisance laws in Serbia, known as
Public Law and Order laws, increased penalties for sex work
related offences. Anti-sex work campaigners pushed the government to
introduce amendments that would also punish the clients of sex
workers. The new laws punishes everyone who disturbs public order
and peace including noisy neighbours, panhandling, burning
pyrotechnic products, organising gambling, etc.
If arrested, both clients and sex workers are punished with up to
60 days in prison or fines up to 150 000 RSD (approximately 1300 EUR).
Previously selling sex was illegal in Serbia but buying sex was
Procurement and prostitution are not criminal offences, but it is a criminal
offence to force someone to work as a prostitute, to exploit someone's weak
position by making them work as a prostitute, and to stop someone from working
as a prostitute. The keeping of brothels is illegal in some regions, for
example, Catalonia and the Basque Country.
Illegal to buy sex
Since January 1999 it has been illegal to buy or try to buy sexual services.
Prostitution is considered to be a part of the sexualised violence
(gender-related violence) and an expression of unequal relations between women
and men. The act prohibiting the purchase of sexual services is a part of the
Womens Inviolable Rights Act (Kvinnofridslagstiftningen), including the law on
violence against women, sexual harassment, gender mutilation, and so on.
News, September 2016:
A policeman in charge of enforcing the prohibition, Simon
Haggstrom, explained a little how the police seek out victims to
prosecute. The print and online ads are how police find sex buyers.
police track the ads daily, placing a priority on those with the
youngest-looking women. Acting as buyers, they set up a date
and find out the location. Once there, they cancel the arrangement
and then stake out the site, arresting the men as they leave.
Haggstrom explained that a consequence is that Swedish men now
are more likely to become sex tourists. Sweden does not have an
extraterritorial law that allows it to prosecute Swedish offenders
for sex crimes committed abroad. However, he says it's under
In Switzerland, prostitution has been legal since 1942. When
carried out voluntarily, it is considered a form of independent
economic activity and the proceeds are subject to tax. But those who
do this need to have their papers in order, hold work or residence
permits, and declare their occupation to the cantonal authorities.
News Northern Ireland, June 2015
A new law has come into force criminalising the purchase of sex
in Northern Ireland.
Anyone convicted under the new legislation can be sentenced to a
maximum of one year's imprisonment, or a fine, or both.
It is not an offence to sell sexual services. The new law also
removes criminality from loitering or soliciting for the purposes of
offering services as a prostitute in a street or public place. It
remains an offence to keep or manage a brothel.
England, Wales, Scotland
Prostitution is not illegal if the prostitute works independently
without disturbing the public order. However, there is a law that criminalises the
purchase of sex from sex workers that are pimped or trafficked. It is a 'strict liability' offence which means that it is not
relevant that customers know or don't know whether the sex worker is
controlled. ie customers could be prosecuted even there is no
suggestion or clue that a sex worker has been 'forced or coerced' Section 53A of the amended Sexual Offences Act:
Paying for sexual services of a prostitute subjected to force etc. came
into force on April 1st 2010.
Men who are found several times in prostitution areas buying sex
can be fined for kerb crawling.
It is criminal to advertise prostitution, to run a brothel, and
to recruit persons for prostitution.