The map of prostitution laws in Europe

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Cartographer Jakub Marian has created a map of the places in Europe where prostitution is legalised - and where it remains a criminal act.

The map catalogues the maximum punishments for prostitution, and who is punished - the sex worker or the customer.

It shows that countries in eastern Europe, and the southern Slavic states punish the sex worker not the client.

In many states, including the UK (but excluding Northern Ireland), Spain, and, Italy, sex work is legal but is not regulated, and brothels are illegal.

The map also shows that sex work is legal and regulated in Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and, Turkey.

In the countries shaded green on the map, sex workers can register as officially employed or self-employed as prostitutes, and brothels are run like any other business.

According to Marian, the strict regulation of brothels in Turkey and Greece had led to many sex workers to operate illegally.


The highest fine for clients of prostitutes is Norway, at 2700 euros, or they can serve up to six months in prison.

Sweden fines clients based on their incomes, and similarly offers up to six months jail time.

The 'Swedish model', of prohibiting people from paying for sex, but leaving sex workers alone, was introduced in Sweden in 1999. It was not adopted in France until 2016.

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