Prostitution in Ukraine

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Prostitution in Ukraine is illegal but widespread and largely ignored by the government.[1] Sex tourism rose as the country attracted greater numbers of foreign tourists.[1][2]

Current status[edit]

Today in Ukraine individual prostitution is not a criminal offense.[3] But sex workers can be fined for demanding "monetary compensation for the services of an intimate nature".[3]

Engagement in prostitution is an administrative offence in Ukraine from 12 June 1987 when it was forbidden by Supreme Court of Ukraine.

On 12 January 2005 the Ukrainian parliament passed tougher criminal penalties for human trafficking and coerced prostitution. Prior to 2004 previous laws criminalising organised prostitution had little effect.[1][4] Since then laws criminalising organised prostitution and penalties for human trafficking have had little effect because many convicted traffickers often do not end up serving prison time.[5]


According to the Ukrainian Institute of Social Studies in 2011 there were 50,000 women working as prostitutes with every sixth prostitute being a minor.[6] The organisation claimed the largest number of prostitutes were found (in 2011) in Kiev (about 9,000 people), then in the Odessa area (about 6,000), about 3,000 could be found in Dnipropetrovsk and in Donetsk, in Kharkiv 2,500 and 2,000 were said to have worked in Crimea.[6] Research by the State Institute for Family and Youth Issues indicates that, for many women, sex work has become the only adequate source of income: more than 50% of them support their children and parents.[7] 10% of adolescents living on the streets (in 2011) were suspected to have provided sex to other men for food and clothing.[6]

See also[edit]


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