What is the legality of prostitution in Cabo Verde?

Is Prostitution Legal in Cabo Verde?

In Cabo Verde, also known as Cape Verde, prostitution is not explicitly illegal. However, it is important to note that various activities related to prostitution, such as pimping, soliciting, and brothel-keeping, are illegal. The legal framework around sex work in Cabo Verde is complex and often misunderstood, as the country has a combination of both criminal and administrative laws that regulate prostitution.

What Laws, Penalties, and Law Enforcement Measures Govern Prostitution in Cabo Verde?

Although prostitution itself is not explicitly criminalized in Cabo Verde, there are several laws that address related activities. Some of these laws and penalties include:

  • Penal Code: The Penal Code of Cabo Verde criminalizes the exploitation of sex work, such as pimping, procuring, and brothel-keeping. Penalties for these offenses can range from 2 to 8 years in prison.
  • Law on Human Trafficking: Cabo Verde has a comprehensive law against human trafficking, which includes provisions on the sexual exploitation of individuals. This law imposes severe penalties for those who engage in trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, including imprisonment and fines.
  • Public Order Laws: Cabo Verde also has public order laws that can be used to penalize sex workers and their clients. For example, individuals can be charged with outraging public decency or disturbing the peace if they engage in sex work in public spaces or in a manner that causes public disturbances.
  • Administrative Regulations: Cabo Verde has administrative regulations that require sex workers to register with the government and undergo regular health checks. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and other penalties.

Law enforcement measures in Cabo Verde can be inconsistent and vary depending on the region. In some areas, police may actively target sex workers and their clients for arrest, while in others, they may turn a blind eye to prostitution.

How is Prostitution Referred to Locally in Cabo Verde?

Prostitution in Cabo Verde is often referred to as trabalho sexual or sex work in Portuguese, the official language of the country. Sex workers are sometimes called prostitutas or sexuais trabalhadoras. It is important to use respectful and non-stigmatizing language when discussing sex work and the people who engage in it.

What is the History of Prostitution in Cabo Verde?

Prostitution has been present in Cabo Verde since the colonial era, when the country was a Portuguese colony. During this time, sex work was largely confined to port cities, where it catered to sailors and other travelers. In the years following Cabo Verde’s independence in 1975, the country experienced significant social and economic changes, which led to an increase in prostitution.

Today, prostitution in Cabo Verde is driven by a variety of factors, including poverty, lack of economic opportunities, and gender inequality. Many sex workers in the country are vulnerable to exploitation, violence, and health risks, and there is a need for comprehensive policies and programs to address these issues.

Where Can I Find Helpful Links, Government Laws, and Resources on Prostitution in Cabo Verde?

For more information on prostitution in Cabo Verde, you can consult the following resources:

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