Prostitution and sex trade laws vary according to region, country, and social norms. According to estimates from 2010, prostitution has been declared illegal in 109 countries of the world, whereas in 77 countries it is considered a legal trade.
The remaining five countries have no laws regarding prostitution, thus, making it legal. While we speak of the trade in terms of legality, it is best to remember that the issue of prostitution is a very complicated one.
In some countries prostitution may be legal, but soliciting paid sex may be illegal. Similarly, running brothels may be illegal in some countries. There are numerous grey areas related to the legal status of prostitution.
In 11 countries of the world “restricted prostitution” is permissible. This means that while prostitution itself is not a crime, other allied activities are illegal. This makes it impossible to remain in the sex trade without violating some law.
|Countries where prostitution is deemed legal –|
|Belize||El Salvador||Lebanon||Sierra Leone|
|Central African Republic||Guatemala||Namibia||Turkey|
|Colombia||Hong Kong||Netherlands Antilles||Uruguay|
|Costa Rica||Hungary||New Zealand||Venezuela|
Some of these countries, such as Australia, have different laws for different states.
Countries with no laws concerning prostitution –
Countries with restricted prostitution –
- Democratic Republic of Congo
In the United States of America, Nevada is the only state that allows legal prostitution. Sex trade is allowed only in registered brothels in eight of the state’s counties. Street prostitution is deemed illegal throughout the country, though. Previously, Rhodes Island did not have laws dealing with the subject of prostitution, but in 2009 a law was passed deeming it illegal.
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