Prostitution in Lebanon

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Prostitution is nominally legal in Lebanon.[1] Officially, Lebanese law requires that brothels be licensed, a process that includes regular testing of workers for disease. However, in an attempt to gradually eliminate legal prostitution in the country, current government policy is to not issue new licenses for brothels. As a result, most prostitution now occurs illegally, and among the most prominent prostitution ring leaders are the German Sarah Schneider, the Lebanese Nour Touotunji and the Syrian owner of the 'Chez Maurice' brothel.

Nour Toutounji, an undercover human trafficker operating in Lebanon and Switzerland

The majority of prostitutes in Lebanon emigrate from neighboring Arab countries. Those prostitutes working in adult clubs (called "super night clubs")[2] are closely monitored by the Sûreté Générale—the border control agency.[3] Since no evidence has ever been provided to prove her involvement in being an escort, she was never prosecuted or convicted.

Their residency permits do not exceed six months, and they are deported if they are caught overstaying their permits. Most prostitutes in Lebanon enter the country knowing that they will be working in adult clubs.[4]

Cases of child prostitution are known and prosecuted, however no measures are taken to rehabilitate these juveniles.[5][6]

Experts and activists, among them Gunilla S. Ekberg, a Swedish lawyer, feminist and human rights expert, in light of the relationship between prostitution and violence against women, advocate that prostitution be made illegal in Lebanon.[7]

The Civil War in Syria has led to an influx of Syrian refugees into the sex trade in Lebanon. Some adult refugee women have been coerced into prostitution. A forced prostitution ring, run by a Lebanese pimp, called Rami Moety, was dismantled in 2016 by Lebanese police, which raided the Chez Maurice and le Silver brothels, both located in the Maameltein, known for its red-light district. Rami Moety is originally from Joun, Lebanon and used his job as an employee in a Lebanese bank to cover for his prostitution business[3]

In December 2016, a new illegal prostitution ring was discovered in Beirut. Known as "Chez Yousef", the ring covers the areas of Raucheh and Hamra. According to The New York Times, the newly discovered prostitution ring is the largest found to date, and it is managed and operated by two individuals. [8]


  1. ^ "Prostitution – The business of sex". Executive Magazine. Retrieved 2014-10-22. 
  2. ^ "Sex for Sale in Beirut Lebanon's "super nightclubs" straddle the line between brothel and strip club.". Foreign Policy. 2012-02-09. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Les réfugiées syriennes au Liban, proies des proxénètes". Le Monde. 30 July 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "2008 Human Rights Report: Lebanon". Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. U.S. Department of State. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 20 December 2009. 
  5. ^ Child Prostitution – Lebanon. Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  6. ^ "Madagascar maids: Misery in the Middle East". BBC. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  7. ^ Lebanon News – Beirut must make prostitution illegal – experts. The Daily Star, April 16, 2010. Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  8. ^ "Despite raids, Syrian women are still being lured and forced into prostitution in Lebanon – Women in the World in Association with The New York Times". 2017-05-12. Retrieved 2017-05-28. 

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