List of red-light districts

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De Wallen red-light district in Amsterdam

Red-light districts are areas associated with the sex industry and sex-oriented businesses (e.g. sex shops and strip clubs). In some of these places prostitution may legally take place. Other red-light districts are known for their illegal prostitution scene (in countries where prostitution is illegal). In red light districts where prostitution is illegal prostitutes or clients may be arrested or fined if caught by the police (the enforcement of anti-prostitution laws varies by country or place).

Following is a partial list of well known red-light districts around the world, both current and historical.

Africa[edit]

Algeria[edit]

Prostitution is legal but third party involvement is prohibited.

Burkina Faso[edit]

Prostitution is not specifically prohibited by the law,[2] but soliciting and pimping are illegal.[3]

Egypt[edit]

Prostitution in Egypt is illegal.

Ivory Coast[edit]

Prostitution in Ivory Coast is legal.

Kenya[edit]

Prostitution is illegal.[6]

Mauritania[edit]

Prostitution in Mauritania is illegal.[8]

Morocco[edit]

Prostitution is illegal.[9]

South Africa[edit]

Prostitution is illegal.[12]

Tunisia[edit]

Prostitution in regulated.[15]

Asia[edit]

Cambodia[edit]

Prostitution is illegal, but tolerated.

China[edit]

Prostitution is illegal.[18]

Hong Kong[edit]

Prostitution itself is not illegal but operating a brothel is illegal.

India[edit]

Prostitution is not illegal when performed by a person acting alone in private but public solicitation, brothels and pimping are illegal (however in practice prostitution is tolerated and regulated).

Indonesia[edit]

Prostitution is illegal in non-regulated areas. Prostitution is legal in some locations (including pimping and maintaining a brothel).

Iraq[edit]

Israel[edit]

Japan[edit]

Prostitution is illegal but narrowly defined. Many sexual acts for pay that would be considered to be prostitution in other countries are legal.[40]

Jordan[edit]

Prostitution is illegal.

Kyrgyzstan[edit]

Prostitution is legal but pimping and operating a brothel are illegal.

South Korea[edit]

Prostitution is illegal, but in practice it is tolerated and regulated.

Malaysia[edit]

Prostitution in most of Malaysia is legal and widespread, though there are laws against prostitution-related activities. However, prostitution is illegal in Malaysia's Kelantan state.

Pakistan[edit]

Prostitution is illegal, but in practice it is somewhat tolerated although not regulated.

Philippines[edit]

Prostitution is illegal, but widespread and generally tolerated.[62]

Singapore[edit]

Prostitution itself is not illegal; however, public solicitation, living on the earnings of a prostitute, and maintaining a brothel are illegal.[65]

Thailand[edit]

Soi Cowboy, Thailand

Prostitution is illegal in Thailand, and solicitation and public nuisance laws are in effect. In practice it is tolerated and partly regulated.

Europe[edit]

Austria[edit]

Prostitution is legal and regulated.

Belgium[edit]

Rue d'Aerschot, Brussels
Glazen Straatje, Ghent

Prostitution is legal, though brothels are not.[78] Enforcement of the law can be lax.

Croatia[edit]

Prostitution is illegal.

Czech Republic[edit]

Prostitution is legal, but brothels and other forms of procuring are prohibited.

Denmark[edit]

Prostitution is legal, but running brothels and pimping are illegal.

Finland[edit]

Prostitution is legal, but running brothels and pimping are illegal.

France[edit]

Paying for sex, pimping and keeping a brothel are illegal. Prostitutes commit no offence unless soliciting.

Germany[edit]

Bahnhofsviertel in Frankfurt am Main
Reeperbahn in Hamburg-St. Pauli
Herbertstraße in Hamburg-St. Pauli

Prostitution is legal and regulated.

Gibraltar[edit]

Prostitution illegal.

  • Seruya’s Ramp, (Calle Peligro) (defunct)[104]

Greece[edit]

Hungary[edit]

Prostitution is legal and regulated.

Ireland[edit]

Paying for sex is illegal, as is soliciting in a public place, operating brothels, and other forms of pimping.

Italy[edit]

Prostitution is legal, but running brothels and pimping are illegal.

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Luxembourg[edit]

Prostitution is legal, but running brothels and pimping are illegal.

Malta[edit]

Prostitution is legal, but running brothels and pimping are illegal.

Netherlands[edit]

Scene from Amsterdam's red light district
Achterdam at night (Alkmaar)

Prostitution and associated activities are legal and common. A total of 12 cities in the Netherlands have red light districts with window prostitution.[110]

Portugal[edit]

Prostitution is legal, but running brothels and pimping are illegal.

Serbia[edit]

Prostitution in Serbia is illegal.

Spain[edit]

Brothels are illegal (since 1956), but "clubs" and "wiskerias" are fronts for prostitution and are tolerated.

Sweden[edit]

Paying for sex is illegal, as is soliciting in a public place, operating brothels, and other forms of pimping.

Switzerland[edit]

Prostitution is legal and regulated.

United Kingdom[edit]

England[edit]

Prostitution is not illegal when performed by a person acting alone in private, but public solicitation, brothels and pimping are. The Policing and Crime Act 2009 makes it illegal to pay for sex with a prostitute who has been “subjected to force” and this is a strict liability offence (clients can be prosecuted even if they didn’t know the prostitute was forced).[135][136]

Northern Ireland[edit]

Scotland[edit]

Wales[edit]

North America[edit]

Antigua and Barbuda[edit]

Prostitution is legal but related activities are prohibited.[15]

Aruba[edit]

Prostitution is legal and regulated.[162]

Barbados[edit]

Prostitution is legal but related activities such as brothel keeping and solicitation are prohibited.[15]

Canada[edit]

Prostitution is legal, though many associated activities (brothels, advertising, street walking) are not.

Costa Rica[edit]

Prostitution is legal but related activities such as brothel keeping are illegal.[2]

Guatemala[edit]

Prostitution is legal but procuring is prohibited.[165]

Mexico[edit]

The Tamyko brothel in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

Prostitution is legal and regulated.

Panama[edit]

United States[edit]

Prostitution laws vary by state and territory, however it is illegal except for some rural counties of Nevada. Strip clubs are legal in most areas, including fully nude strip clubs. Many massage shops offer "happy endings", which is an illegal form of prostitution.

Oceania[edit]

Australia[edit]

Prostitution laws vary by state, either being legal or decriminalized.

New Zealand[edit]

Prostitution and associated activities are legal.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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