3: Laws against prostitution and brothel keeping are complimented by regulations that recognise other businesses such as entertainment or personal services in which sex work can be organised under specific conditions. (e.g. Thailand)

Philippines

Profiting from prostitution is made illegal by the Revised Penal Code.

Local ordinances license 'entertainment establishments' including “night clubs, sauna, massage clinics, discotheques, videoke/karaoke bars, cocktail lounges, beer gardens, pub houses and other establishments wherein the services of hired entertainers are employed and patrons are entertained” (Ordinance no. 09, Series 2000, General Santos City).

Colombia

It is illegal to operate a brothel other than in a designated 'tolerance zone'. Sex workers are required to attend STI clinics.

Law enforcement is corrupt and violent and the requirement for health checks is not carried out in practice

Panama

  • Sex work is legal and regulated. Sex workers are required to register and carry identification cards but the majority of prostitutes were not registered.
  • Buying sex is not illegal.

              If you can provide further information about the law and its enforcement please go to the "Feedback" form on the home page of this map.

              Si se puede dar más información acerca de la ley y su aplicación por favor vaya a la forma de "Feedback" en la página principal de este mapa. 

USA

  • The United States is a federal system in which each state enacts different laws about sex work.  In most states all aspects of buying selling and organising sexual services are illegal.

Tunisia

Sex work is regulated Article 231 of the Tunisian Penal Code 1942 law which identifies obligations of sex workers and brothel managers in resect of medical administration.
To register as a sex worker a woman must be over 18, unmarried and certified to be mentally capable and negative to 'infectious or septic' diseases.
Registered sex workers are allowed to work in their private residences or tolerated brothels. Brothels can lose their licenses if a sex worker is employed who has not submitted to a medical check.

Thailand

  • The Prostitution Prevention and Suppression Act of 1996 Sections 5 & 6 make it illegal to manage or sell sex in a 'prostitution establishment' 
  • 'Openly and shamelessly' offering sexual services in public places is illegal. 
  • Sex workers may be fined or jailed and it is illegal to associate with another person in a prostitution establishment for the benefit of the prostitution of that person. 
  • Advertising oneself, or another person, as a sex worker is illegal (S 7)
  • Courts have the power to order rehabilitation at a Protection and Occupational Developm

South Korea

  • In 2004 buying, selling and organising commercial sex were criminalised by the Act on the Punishment of Acts of Arranging Sexual Traffic and the Enforcement Decree of the Act on the Prevention of Sexual Traffic and Protection, etc.

Nepal

The law on female sex work is contained in the Muluki Ain 1963 which has not been officially translated to English. The act defines and criminalises trafficking but not prostitution.
In 2008 the Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act, 2064, Act Number 5 of the Year 2064 (2008) was introduced which criminalises selling sex and living off the earnings of prostitution by including it in the definition of human trafficking.

Malaysia

  • Almost all sex work related activities are illegal. Section 372 of the Penal Code makes soliciting for prostitution in any place and knowingly living on the earnings of a prostitute illegal. 
  • Section 21 of the Sharia Criminal Offences Act provides for fines and whipping to punish 'any woman who prostitutes herself'. Sharia law also forbids buying sex. 
  • Laws that don't address sex work directly such as vagrancy and drugs laws are also used to charge, detain or fine sex workers.
  • Law enforcement has recently focused on closing brothels.

Lebanon

  • Sections 526 and 527 of the Lebanese Penal Code make coercion of sex workers and living on the earnings of a sex worker illegal.
  • Article 523 of the Lebanese Penal Code stipulates that sex workers can only practice sex work inside licensed brothels and criminalises 'any person who practices secret prostitution or facilitates it.' No licenses for sex workers or brothels have been granted since 1975. As a result many illegal brothels operated until 1998 when a law forbidding businesses to have rooms available for commercial sex was passed.

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