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Czech Republic: Sex workers in Prague might need license

As Czech media report, a new law is pending in the Prague City Council, according to which prostitutes working in the Czech capital will need to have a license, issued by the city authorities.

If the law is passed, sex workers will have to present their health certificate, undergo a medical checkup and get a criminal record extract, in order to be issued a ‘prostitution license’.

“The law is the only way to tackle the problem” says the Deputy Mayor of Prague Rudolf Blazek. “Currently, without such legislation, we can not control the situation.”

Some civil society groups that work with prostitutes find the new law problematic. They say that forcing sex workers to obtain a license will only make the problem worse: “I am afraid, that if the law is passed, sex workers will only move underground, or will start using the Internet to get the clients” says Hana Malinova of Bliss without Risk, the SWAN member from Czech Republic. “The position of sex workers and their health and safety will worsen,” added Malinova.

According to Malinova, there are 3000 prostitutes, both male and female, in Prague.

In December last year the Prague City Hall issued a Public Notice that sanctions solicitation of sex services in the historic city center in the night hours. The Notice gives the police authority to charge sex workers up to thirty thousands CZK (1,000 Euros) for soliciting sexual services on the street. According to the Deputy Mayor of Prague Rudolf Blazek, sex workers will not always pay the fine, but at least the police will have grounds to order them away from the city center.