Prostitution in Asia

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  Prostitution legal and regulated
  Prostitution (the exchange of sex for money) legal, but brothels are illegal, prostitution is not regulated
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The legality of prostitution in Asia varies by country. 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,[1] but in practice it is tolerated and regulated, and the country is a destination for sex tourism.

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.[2]

The World Health Organization has called for the decriminalisation of sex work as a means of combating HIV/AIDS. The Asian region has the lowest incidence (5.2%) [3]

This page uses the UN system of subregions.

Table[edit]

Country/Territory Prostitution Legal Age for solicitation Brothels Pimping Notes
 Afghanistan Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal Prostitution is a thriving industry in Afghanistan. However, areas controlled by the Taliban strictly prohibit prostitution.
 Armenia Legal age uncertain Illegal Illegal
 Azerbaijan Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Bahrain Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal Although illegal, prostitution remains a problem, many across the middle east go to Bahrain for prostitution due to its laxed feel towards it.
 Bangladesh Legal for women only Legal for women only, 18 Legal Legal Even before prostitution was legalized, child prostitution was and still is a major problem.
 Bhutan Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 British Indian Ocean Territory Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Brunei Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Burma Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal Due to widespread poverty, many are trafficked into neighboring countries, Malaysia, and South Korea for prostitution.
 Cambodia Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal Because the Thai government has began to crack down on child sex tourism. Child prostitution has become increasingly popular in Cambodia, due to lax opposition towards it, and cheaper prices.
 China Illegal nationwide, except in the City of Foshan Not allowed nationwide, except in the city of Foshan. 14 to 18, varies by prostitute Illegal Illegal Prostitution is belived to be a major problem in China, due to corruption and organized crime. Many foreign prostitutes are traffiked into China from Russia, North Korea, Kenya, and Angola.
 East Timor Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Georgia Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Hong Kong Legal 18 Illegal Illegal
 India Legal; prostitution isn't a criminal offense, but prostitution in a public place is illegal Age uncertain, not allowed in public Illegal Illegal
 Indonesia Legal No legaly defined age Legal Legal While considered a crime against decency and morality, there is no government law against it. Due to laxed laws on age, Indonesia has become a popular place for child prostitution. And government action against it is near non-existant.
 Iraq Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Iran Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Israel Legal age uncertain Illegal Illegal
 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Japan Legal, coital sex acts are illegal. 18 Illegal Illegal
 Jordan Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Kazakhstan Legal age uncertain Illegal Illegal
 Kuwait Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Kyrgyzstan Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Laos Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Lebanon Legal 18 Legal Illegal
 Macau Legal 18 Illegal Illegal Human Trafficking is a major problem, many foreign prostitutes are trafficked from Mongolia, Russia, Thailand, and Central Asia.
 Malaysia Illegal, but often unenforced Not allowed, but often unenfroced Illegal, but often unforced Illegal, but often unenforced
 Maldives Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Mongolia Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal Prostitution is a major problem, most foreigners trafficked into Mongolia are from China.
   Nepal uncertain uncertain uncertain uncertain
 North Korea Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal The government doesn't openly support prostitution known in North Korea as Kippumjo. Prostitution is a major problem due to corruption and poverty.
 Oman Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Pakistan Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal Prostitution is a common practice in Pakistan, although not in public.
 Palestine Illegal everywhere, but permitted in in a few places such as Ramallah age uncertain Illegal Illegal
 Philippines Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal Prostitution is a major problem despite strict laws against it.
 Qatar Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Saudi Arabia Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal Death is often the punishment of being involved in prostitution
 Singapore Legal 16, public solicitation isn't allowed Illegal Illegal
 South Korea Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal Despite strict government action, prostitution remains to be common across South Korea.
 Sri Lanka Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Syria Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Taiwan Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Tajikistan Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal Prostitution remains a major problem due to widespread poverty
 Thailand Illegal, but tolorated and regulated Not allowed in practice Illegal Illegal
 Turkey Legal 18 Legal, all brothels are government owned Illegal
 Turkmenistan Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 United Arab Emirates Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Uzbekistan Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Vietnam Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
 Yemen Illegal Not allowed Illegal Illegal
Country/Territory Prostitution Legal Age for solicitation Brothels Pimping Notes

Central Asia[edit]

Kazakhstan[edit]

In Kazakhstan prostitution itself is legal, but acts facilitating prostitution, such as operating a brothel or prostitution ring, are illegal.[4] Forced prostitution and prostitution connected to organized crime are prohibited. Prostitution is a serious problem. NGOs reported that criminal prostitution rings often included local law enforcement officials.[5]

Eastern Asia[edit]

South Asia or Indian Subcontinent[edit]

South-Eastern Asia[edit]

Middle East[edit]

Armenia[edit]

In Armenia, prostitution itself is not regulated by legislation, thus, is not illegal; procuring is forbidden.[6] Operating a brothel and engaging in other forms of pimping are crimes punishable by one to 10 years' imprisonment.[7]

Azerbaijan[edit]

Prostitution in Azerbaijan is illegal. Operating a brothel and engaging in other forms of pimping are crimes punishable imprisonment, while prostitution is punishable with a fine.

Cyprus[edit]

The law does not prohibit prostitution itself, but operating brothels, organizing prostitution rings, living off the profits of prostitution, encouraging prostitution or forcing a person to engage in prostitution are illegal activities.[8] The law regulating the hiring of women at nightclubs and cabarets provides penalties for women and employers who "partially or completely earn a living from prostitution." In July 2006 the Nicosia District Court ordered the first prostitution-related imprisonment in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. After pleading no contest to the charges, the manager of Mexico nightclub, Mesut Kilicarslan, was sentenced to 15 days in prison for encouraging and profiting from prostitution. By year's end three more suspects were sentenced to imprisonment for encouraging and profiting from prostitution.[8]

Cyprus has been criticized by the US State Department [9] for failing to control the follow of illegal immigrants and legal to be involved in forced prostitution. Cyprus has gained a reputation for being a major transit point for people smugglers to transport women for the purposes of prostitution. International observers have criticized the government for its lack of action to prevent forced prostitution. The law of Cyprus forbids forced (but not voluntary) prostitution. However, its believed that many immigrants are hired as bar maids and coerced into prostitution by this method.[10]

Georgia[edit]

In Georgia, prostitution is illegal but widespread, particularly in Tbilisi.[11] Many NGO's attribute this to the harsh economic conditions according to the US State Department.[12][13] Many women from Georgia are of Human Trafficking operations to or from countries. Women who are forced to be prostitutes are in Georgia are often from Asia and neighboring European countries.

In 2006 the country incorporated into its domestic law the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.[12] The punishment for human trafficking in Georgia is 15 years. There is also a special law to protect families of Georgian women who fear reprisals from gang masters of women who refuse to be forced into prostitution abroad.

Jordan[edit]

Prostitution in Jordan is illegal and has a significant following of sex tourism in the middle east.[14][15][16]

Turkey[edit]

In Turkey, prostitution is legal and regulated. Prostitutes must register and acquire an ID card stating the dates of their health checks. Also it is mandatory for registered prostitutes to have regular health checks for sexually transmitted diseases. The police are allowed to check the authenticity of registered prostitutes to determine whether they have been examined properly and to ensure they see the health authorities if they don't. Men cannot register under this regulation. Most sex workers, however, are unregistered, as local governments have made it policy not to issue new registrations. As a result most sex workers in Turkey are not registered sex workers, working in violation of the law.[17][18] Turkey is listed by the UNODC as a top destination for victims of human trafficking.[19]

See also Prostitution in Europe

See also[edit]

References[edit]