Enforcing the Law Prohibiting the Consumption of Prostitution
On 10.7.2020, the law prohibiting the consumption of prostitution came into effect, according to which the consumption of prostitution services is a criminal offense. Despite the fact that the law does not incriminate sex workers but rather their customers, it is clear that the initiation of enforcement will bring about much confrontation between sex workers and the police. As such, we appealed to the Acting Commissioner of the Police and emphasized that the enforcement of the law should be done with careful protection of the rights, dignity and privacy of sex workers. In the appeal, Attorney Maskit Bendel emphasized that due to the general perceptions of sex workers in society, including those held by police officers, sex workers are already experiencing harmful enforcement, particularly those in the trans community.
In order to ensure that the human rights of sex workers are protected, we demanded the following:
● Conducting a specialized training for officers as a condition to the law’s enforcement;
● Regulating the enforcement, including a specification of the law’s instructions on entering property without search warrants, bodily searches, delays and interrogations;
● Ceasing from opening up criminal cases for sex workers over minor issues;
● Documenting the enforcement;
● Considering the inclusion of a service provider who would be “loyal” to the sex workers in every enforcement action;
● Regulating the limitations on sharing personal information;
● Establishing a transparent policy and involving the public, especially sex workers;
● Preparing a specialized system to assist sex workers to easily file complaints.