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Cabinet backs new minimum age for prostitutes

The cabinet has endorsed a proposal by parliament to raise the legal age of prostitution from 16 to 18.

This content was published on May 21, 2010 - 15:27

The motion urges the government to sign the Council of Europe accord to protect children under 18 from sexual exploitation and abuse.

The motion was filed by a representative of the Christian Democratic Party. It argues that allowing prostitution at 16 can result in young women – immigrants in particular – being taken unfair advantage of.

Prostitution is legal in Switzerland but prostitutes have to register with city and health authorities as well as get regular health checks.

On May 1 a new prostitution law, with an article banning prostitutes under 18, came into effect in Geneva; St Gallen’s cantonal parliament passed a similar vote last April.

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