In Which Countries Is Prostitution Legal? - Answers

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In Which Countries Is Prostitution Legal?

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World Map showing countries where Prostitution is Legal
Countries where Prostitution is Legal

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.

There could be many grey areas when it comes to the legality status of prostitution around the world.

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 –
Argentina Cyprus Italy Paraguay
Armenia Czech Republic Kazakhstan Peru
Australia Denmark Kiribati Poland
Austria Dominican Republic Kyrgyzstan Portugal
Belgium Ecuador Latvia Senegal
Belize El Salvador Lebanon Sierra Leone
Benin Estonia Luxembourg Singapore
Bolivia Ethiopia Macau Slovakia
Brazil Finland Madagascar Spain
Burkina Faso France Malawi Switzerland
Canada Germany Mali Timor-Leste
Cape Verde Greece Mexico Tonga
Central African Republic Guatemala Namibia Turkey
Chile Honduras Netherlands United Kingdom
Colombia Hong Kong Netherlands Antilles Uruguay
Costa Rica Hungary New Zealand Venezuela
Côte d’Ivoire Ireland Nicaragua Zambia
Cuba Israel Panama

Some of these countries, such as Australia, have different laws for different states.

Countries with no laws concerning prostitution –

  • Bulgaria
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Indonesia
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique

Countries with restricted prostitution –

  • Bangladesh
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Nepal
  • Norway
  • Sweden

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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