Currently, it is legal to be a sex worker, as it is legal to sell sexual services. Nevertheless, there are limits to the act of prostitution – according to the law, it is illegal to:
Legislation regarding sex work:
It categorically bans brothels, stating that it is an offence to keep a brothel, as well as to manage or to assist on the management of a brothel. It also criminalizes the action of soliciting sex on the street.
It labels as an offence the act of loitering or soliciting, in a street or public place, for the purpose of prostitution.
It introduced the concept of “kerb-crawling”, understood as the act of soliciting a sex worker for the purpose of prostitution from a motor vehicle, or from the vicinity of a motor vehicle.
It condemns the action of causing, inciting and controlling prostitution for personal gain. It also sets the legal framework for crimes of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
It punishes the payment for sexual services of a prostitute who is subjected to force. It also clarifies the conditions under which a brothel will be closed.
Notes from the editor:
Due to slight nuances on the laws being applied in Northern Ireland and in Scotland, all the information displayed above refers to the laws being applied in England and Wales.
Further felonies regarding contexts of violence against sex workers were excluded from this section, since they belong to a different legal framework – outside the ambit of sex work.