Prostitution in Europe
The legality of prostitution in Europe varies by country.
Some countries outlaw the act of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for money, while others allow prostitution itself, but not most forms of procuring (such as operating brothels, facilitating the prostitution of another, deriving financial gain from the prostitution of another, soliciting/loitering).
In eight European countries (Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, Hungary, and Latvia), prostitution is legal and regulated.
The degree of enforcement of the anti-prostitution laws varies by country, by region, and by city. In many places, there is a big discrepancy between the laws and what happens in practice.
Very permissive prostitution policies exist in the Netherlands and Germany,
In Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland, France, and the Republic of Ireland, it is illegal to pay for sex, but not to be a prostitute (the client commits a crime, but not the prostitute).
By some estimates, the number of prostitutes across the European Union’s 28 members states ranges between 700,000 and as many as 1.2 million.
the Netherlands became one of the first major European countries to formalize prostitution’s legality and regulate it like any other industry. Germany, Greece, and others followed suit, though Switzerland has had fully legal prostitution since 1942.
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