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Prostitution by region

  (Redirected from Prostitution by country)

This is an overview of prostitution by region.



  Prostitution legal and regulated
  Prostitution (the exchange of sex for money) legal, but brothels are illegal; prostitution is not regulated
  Prostitution illegal
  No data

Prostitution is illegal in the majority of African countries. HIV/AIDS infection rates are particularly high among African sex workers.[1]

Nevertheless, it is common, driven by the widespread poverty in many sub-Saharan African countries,[2] and is one of the drivers for the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Africa.[3] Social breakdown and poverty caused by civil war in several African countries has caused further increases in the rate of prostitution in those countries. For these reasons, some African countries have also become destinations for sex tourism.

Long distance truck drivers have been identified as a group with the high-risk behaviour of sleeping with prostitutes and a tendency to spread the infection along trade routes in the region. Infection rates of up to 33% were observed in this group in the late 1980s in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Prostitution in African areas
Sovereign states
Algeria - Angola - Benin - Botswana - Burkina Faso - Burundi - Cameroon - Cape Verde - Central African Republic - Chad - Comoros - Democratic Republic of the Congo - Republic of the Congo - Djibouti - Egypt - Equatorial Guinea Eritrea - Ethiopia - Gabon - The Gambia - Ghana - Guinea - Guinea-Bissau - Ivory Coast - Kenya - Lesotho - Liberia - Libya - Madagascar - Malawi - Mali - Mauritania - Mauritius - Morocco - Mozambique - Namibia - Niger - Nigeria - Rwanda - São Tomé and Príncipe - Senegal - Seychelles - Sierra Leone - Somalia - South Africa - South Sudan - Sudan - Swaziland - Tanzania - Togo - Tunisia - Uganda - Zambia - Zimbabwe
States with limited recognition
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic - Somaliland
Dependencies and other territories
Ascension Island - Canary Islands - Ceuta - Madeira - Mayotte - Melilla - Réunion - Saint Helena - Tristan da Cunha - Western Sahara


  Prostitution legal and regulated
  Prostitution (the exchange of sex for money) legal; prostitution is not regulated
  Illegal to buy sex, legal to sell sex
  Prostitution illegal
  No data
  Prostitution legal and regulated
  Prostitution (the exchange of sex for money) legal, but brothels are illegal; prostitution is not regulated
  Prostitution illegal
  No data

Legality of prostitution in the Americas varies by country. Most countries only legalized prostitution, with the act of exchanging money for sexual services legal. The level of enforcement varies by country. One country, the United States, is unique as legality of prostitution is not the responsibility of the federal government, but rather state, territorial, and federal district's responsibility.

Prostitution in North American areas
Sovereign states
Canada - United States
Dependencies and other territories
Bermuda - Greenland - Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Prostitution in Central American areas
Prostitution in Caribbean areas
Prostitution in South American areas


  Prostitution legal and regulated
  Prostitution (the exchange of sex for money) legal, but brothels are illegal; prostitution is not regulated
  Prostitution illegal
  No data

In Asia, the main characteristic of the region is the very big discrepancy between the laws which exist on the books and what occurs in practice. For example, in Thailand prostitution is illegal,[4] but in practice it is tolerated and partly regulated, and the country is a destination for sex tourism. Such situations are common in many Asian countries.

In Japan, prostitution is legal[5] with the exception of heterosexual, vaginal intercourse. Advertisements that detail what each individual prostitute will do (oral sex, anal sex, etc.) are a common sight in the country, although many prostitutes disregard the law.

Child prostitution is a serious problem in this region. Past surveys indicate that 30 to 35 percent of all prostitutes in the Mekong sub-region of Southeast Asia are between 12 and 17 years of age.[6]

Prostitution in Asian areas


  Prostitution legal and regulated
  Prostitution (the exchange of sex for money) legal, but brothels are illegal; prostitution is not regulated
  Illegal to pay for sex but not to offer the service (client commits crime, prostitute doesn't)
  Prostitution fully illegal
  No data

The most common legal system in the European Union is that which allows prostitution itself (the exchange of sex for money) but prohibits associated activities (brothels, pimping, etc.). Prostitution remains illegal in most of the ex-communist countries of Eastern Europe. In recent years, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland and France have brought in laws making it illegal to pay for sex.

In Sweden,[7] Northern Ireland,[8] Norway,[9] Iceland,[10] and France[11] it is illegal to pay for sex (the client commits a crime, but not the prostitute).

In the United Kingdom, it is illegal to pay for sex with a prostitute who has been "subjected to force" and this is a strict liability offence (clients can be prosecuted even if they did not know the prostitute was forced), but prostitution itself is legal.[12][13]

In Germany prostitution is legal, as are brothels.

The enforcement of the anti-prostitution laws varies by country. One example is Belgium, in which brothels are illegal, but in practice, they are tolerated, operate quite openly, and in some parts of the country, the situation is similar of that in neighboring Netherlands.

In Eastern Europe, prostitution was outlawed by the former communist regimes, and most of those countries chose to keep it illegal even after the fall of the Communists. In Hungary and Latvia however, prostitution is legal and regulated.

Prostitution in European areas


Prostitution in Oceania varies greatly across the region. In American Samoa, prostitution is illegal,[14] whereas in New Zealand most aspects of the trade are decriminalised.[15]

Prostitution in Oceania areas

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Sex Workers, Prostitution, HIV and AIDS". 
  2. ^ Increasing prostitution driven by poverty in drought-stricken – Welthungerhilfe. Retrieved on 2012-01-11.
  3. ^ Sex Workers, Prostitution and AIDS. Retrieved on 2012-01-11.
  4. ^ 2008 Human Rights Report: Thailand. (2009-02-25). Retrieved on 2012-01-11.
  5. ^ Hongo, Jun. "Law bends over backward to allow 'fuzoku'". Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  6. ^ Deena Guzder "UNICEF: Protecting Children from Commercial Sexual Exploitation". Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. August 20, 2009
  7. ^ Yvonne Svanström, “Through the Prism of Prostitution: Conceptions of Women and Sexuality in Sweden at Two Fins-de-Siècle”, Nordic Journal of Women’s Studies, 2005 (13): 48-58
  8. ^ "Human Trafficking Bill receives Royal Assent". BBC News. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Elden, John Christian; Skirbekk, Sigurd. Prostitusjon. Retrieved 30 August 2014.  In Henriksen (2014)
  10. ^ "Jafnréttisstofa". 2009-04-21. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  11. ^ Prostitution : le Parlement adopte définitivement la pénalisation des clients 'Le Monde', accessed 7 April 2016
  12. ^ Policing and Crime Act 2009. Retrieved on 2012-01-11.
  13. ^ Policing and Crime | UK | Anti-trafficking | Exploitation | Sex Industry | The Naked Anthropologist. (2010-04-06). Retrieved on 2012-01-11.
  14. ^ Godwin, John (October 2012). "Sex Work and the Law in Asia and the Pacific" (PDF). UNAIDS. 
  15. ^ Prostitution Reform Act 2003.