Map of Sex Work Law

Posted by Share-Net Intl on September 23, 2015 at 7:12 am



This is a map of national ‘legal frameworks’ around sex work. It aims to provide an accurate overview, in plain English. of the laws, regulations, directives and enforcement practices that govern the sale of sexual services by adult women.

Each country begins with an account of criminal law that directly addresses adult, female sex work. Where possible and relevant, information is also included about regulations intended to limit  public nuisance, exploitation, disease and injury associated with commercial sex.

Enforcement practices are mentioned in most entries because they play a key part in determining outcomes regardless of the content of the actual law.  Sometimes very harsh law is not enforced while more benign law may be enforced in ways that are unfair or even abusive.  In most cases information about law enforcement cannot be verified and it is frequently contested. The published views of sex workers organisations that provide services to sex workers have been included even though law enforcement agents and governments may not agree with the claims made.

It is important to recognise that even where laws and regulations are the same or similar, they do not function in the same way across various countries whose geopolitical positions, constitutions, religions, and institutions vary significantly. Nevertheless it is valuable to be able to see groups of countries where the law is similar.