What is the legality of prostitution in Cairo?

What is the legal status of prostitution in Cairo?

In Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, prostitution is illegal. However, the laws surrounding the subject are not as clear-cut as in some other countries. While the act of prostitution itself is not directly mentioned in Egyptian law, various related activities are criminalized, which in effect, makes the practice of prostitution illegal. These activities include operating a brothel, soliciting, and living off the earnings of a prostitute.

What are the penalties and enforcement measures for prostitution in Cairo?

The penalties for engaging in prostitution or related activities in Cairo can be quite severe. Some of the penalties and enforcement measures include:

  • Operating a brothel or facilitating prostitution can result in imprisonment for a period of up to three years and/or a fine.
  • Individuals found guilty of soliciting or attempting to engage in prostitution can face imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine.
  • Those convicted of living off the earnings of a prostitute can be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fined.

Despite the illegality of prostitution, enforcement of these laws can be inconsistent. There have been reports of police officers accepting bribes from sex workers or brothel owners in exchange for leniency or protection from arrest.

How is prostitution referred to in local terminology in Cairo?

In Cairo, prostitution is often referred to using various slang terms or euphemisms. Some common local terms for prostitution include:

  • Sharmuta – This Arabic word translates to prostitute in English.
  • Tawa’if – This term is historically used to refer to a courtesan or professional entertainer, often associated with providing sexual services.
  • Fujur – This Arabic word translates to immorality or vice in English, and is sometimes used to describe prostitution.

What is the historical background of prostitution in Cairo?

Prostitution has a long and complex history in Cairo and the wider region. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Cairo was known for its thriving red-light district, which attracted both locals and foreign visitors. At this time, prostitution was tolerated and regulated by the authorities. However, following the Egyptian revolution in 1952, the new government sought to crack down on the practice, introducing more stringent laws and enforcement measures.

Despite the government’s efforts to suppress prostitution, the practice has persisted in Cairo, driven by factors such as poverty, unemployment, and a lack of alternative opportunities for women. Today, the city is home to an estimated tens of thousands of sex workers, who operate both on the streets and in more hidden venues, such as private apartments and massage parlors.

What helpful links, government laws, and resources are available on the topic of prostitution legality in Cairo?

For those seeking more information on the topic of prostitution legality in Cairo, the following resources may be helpful:

  • Egypt Penal Code – The Egyptian Penal Code outlines the various offenses related to prostitution and their corresponding penalties.
  • 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report: Egypt – This report, published by the U.S. Department of State, provides an overview of the human trafficking situation in Egypt, including issues related to prostitution.
  • Human Rights Watch World Report 2020: Egypt – This report includes information on the human rights situation in Egypt, with some mention of issues related to sex work and exploitation.

It is important to note that the legal landscape surrounding prostitution in Cairo may change over time. It is always advisable to consult the most recent laws and regulations when seeking information on this topic.

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