What is the legality of prostitution in Chile?

Is Prostitution Legal in Chile?

In Chile, prostitution itself is legal, but organized activities such as brothels, pimping, and promoting prostitution are illegal. The act of exchanging sex for money between consenting adults is not considered a crime. However, there are certain restrictions on where and how these activities can take place. For instance, soliciting clients in public spaces and near schools is illegal.

What Are the Penalties and Enforcement for Prostitution in Chile?

While prostitution itself is legal in Chile, those who engage in illegal activities related to prostitution can face penalties. The penalties and enforcement for various offenses related to prostitution are as follows:

  • Pimping and promoting prostitution: Individuals found guilty of exploiting or promoting prostitution can face imprisonment ranging from 541 days to five years.
  • Operating a brothel: Those who run or manage brothels can be penalized with imprisonment ranging from 61 days to three years.
  • Soliciting clients in public spaces: Soliciting clients in public spaces is considered a misdemeanor and can result in fines.
  • Human trafficking: Trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation is a serious crime in Chile, and offenders can face imprisonment ranging from five to 15 years.

Chilean law enforcement agencies are responsible for enforcing these laws, and they often carry out raids and inspections to crack down on illegal activities related to prostitution.

How is Prostitution Referred to Locally in Chile?

In Chile, prostitution is often referred to as trabajo sexual or sex work by those who are involved in the industry or advocate for the rights of sex workers. Other common terms include prostituta or prostituto (prostitute) and cliente (client).

What is the History of Prostitution in Chile?

Prostitution has a long history in Chile, dating back to the colonial period. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Chilean government regulated and controlled prostitution by requiring sex workers to register with the authorities, undergo regular health checks, and work in designated areas known as zonas de tolerancia (tolerance zones). This approach was aimed at minimizing the spread of sexually transmitted infections and protecting public morals.

However, this system of regulation was dismantled in the mid-20th century due to concerns about human rights violations and the exploitation of sex workers. Since then, prostitution has been decriminalized, but activities related to it, such as pimping and brothels, remain illegal.

What Government Laws and Resources Exist Regarding Prostitution in Chile?

Chile has several laws and resources in place to address prostitution and related issues. Some of these include:

  • Article 367 of the Chilean Penal Code: This article criminalizes pimping, promoting prostitution, and operating a brothel.
  • Article 411 of the Chilean Penal Code: This article prohibits the solicitation of clients in public spaces.
  • Law 20.507: This law, enacted in 2011, strengthens the penalties for human trafficking and provides assistance and protection to victims.
  • National Action Plan against Trafficking in Persons (2015-2018): This plan outlines the Chilean government’s strategy for combating human trafficking, including prevention, prosecution, and victim assistance.
  • Ministry of Women and Gender Equity: This government ministry is responsible for promoting gender equality and the rights of women, including sex workers. They also provide resources and support for victims of gender-based violence and exploitation.

In conclusion, while prostitution is legal in Chile, there are strict regulations in place to prevent the exploitation of sex workers and to combat related illegal activities. The Chilean government has implemented laws and resources to address the issue and protect the rights and well-being of those involved in the industry.

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