What is the legality of prostitution in Greece?

Is Prostitution Legal in Greece?

In Greece, prostitution is legal and regulated. However, there are certain restrictions and regulations that must be adhered to by those engaging in the practice. The Greek government has set forth specific requirements for brothels and sex workers in order to maintain a level of control over the industry and protect the safety and well-being of both the workers and their clients.

What are the Laws, Penalties, and Law Enforcement Related to Prostitution?

Prostitution in Greece is regulated by a series of laws and regulations, including:

  • Prostitutes must be registered with the local municipality and carry a medical card.
  • Prostitutes must be at least 18 years old and be able to prove their age with valid identification.
  • Brothels must be located in designated areas, known as red light districts, and must be at least 200 meters away from schools, churches, and other public buildings.
  • Brothel owners must obtain a license from the local municipality, and the premises must meet specific health and safety standards.
  • Street prostitution is illegal, and those caught engaging in it can face fines and penalties.

Law enforcement in Greece is responsible for enforcing these regulations and ensuring that both brothels and sex workers comply with the law. However, the police are often criticized for not doing enough to combat illegal prostitution, particularly street prostitution, which is more difficult to control and regulate.

How is Prostitution Referred to Locally in Greece?

In Greece, prostitution is commonly referred to as εργασία (ergasia) or πορνεία (porneia). Brothels are known as στουντιο (studio) or οίκος ανοχής (oikos anochis), which translates to house of tolerance. Street prostitution is often called τσατσά (tsatsa), a slang term that refers to the act of soliciting sex on the street.

What is the History of Prostitution in Greece?

Prostitution has a long and complex history in Greece, dating back to ancient times. In Ancient Greece, prostitution was a common and accepted practice, with both male and female sex workers catering to clients of various social classes. Many famous historical figures, such as the philosopher Socrates and the playwright Aristophanes, are known to have frequented brothels.

During the Byzantine Empire, prostitution continued to be a prevalent part of society, with licensed brothels operating in major cities such as Constantinople. However, the rise of Christianity led to increasing disapproval of prostitution, and it was eventually outlawed in the late Byzantine period.

In modern Greece, prostitution was legalized in 1956 in an attempt to regulate the industry and combat the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Since then, the laws surrounding prostitution have evolved, with the most recent changes coming in 1999, when the current regulations were put in place.

How do Government Laws and Policies Impact Prostitution in Greece?

The Greek government’s approach to regulating prostitution has both positive and negative impacts on the industry and the individuals involved in it. On the one hand, the legal status of prostitution and the regulations in place can help protect the rights and safety of sex workers, as well as reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections. Legal brothels are required to provide regular medical check-ups for their workers, and the use of condoms is mandatory.

However, the strict regulations surrounding brothels and sex workers can also lead to issues, such as the proliferation of illegal prostitution. Many sex workers are unable or unwilling to meet the requirements for registration and medical examinations, which can be costly and invasive. As a result, they may turn to street prostitution or work in unlicensed brothels, which puts them at greater risk of exploitation and violence.

Furthermore, the stigma surrounding prostitution in Greece, as well as the legal restrictions on where brothels can be located, can make it difficult for sex workers to find safe and secure working environments. This, in turn, can contribute to the ongoing challenges faced by those in the industry.

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