What is the legality of prostitution in Moscow?

Is Prostitution Legal in Moscow?

Prostitution is not legal in Moscow, as well as the rest of Russia. Despite this, it is considered to be a widespread phenomenon, with an estimated 1 million prostitutes operating within the country. The legal status of prostitution in Russia has undergone various changes throughout history, but it remains a criminal offense under current laws.

What Are the Laws, Penalties, and Law Enforcement Strategies Regarding Prostitution in Moscow?

According to the Russian Criminal Code, both engaging in prostitution and organizing prostitution are considered illegal activities. The laws and penalties surrounding prostitution in Moscow include:

  • Article 240 – This article states that organizing or maintaining a brothel, or any other premises for the purpose of prostitution, is a criminal offense punishable by a fine or up to four years in prison.
  • Article 241 – This article criminalizes the act of engaging in prostitution. Those found guilty can face a fine or up to 15 days of administrative arrest.
  • Article 6.11 – This article refers to the administrative code and penalizes clients of prostitutes with a fine of up to 5,000 rubles (approximately $70).

Law enforcement strategies in Moscow mainly focus on penalizing sex workers and their clients, rather than addressing the underlying issues that contribute to the prevalence of prostitution. Police raids on brothels and street prostitution areas are common, and sex workers are often subjected to abuse and extortion by law enforcement officials.

What is Prostitution Called Locally in Moscow?

In Moscow, as well as in other parts of Russia, prostitution is often referred to as blat or torgovlya lyubovyu (literally meaning trade of love). These terms are used colloquially to describe the exchange of sexual services for money or goods.

What is the History of Prostitution in Moscow?

Prostitution has a long history in Moscow, dating back to the times of the Russian Empire. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, prostitution was legal and regulated by the government. In 1917, following the Bolshevik Revolution, the new Soviet government made prostitution illegal, and it has remained so ever since. However, the prohibition of prostitution did not prevent its continued existence and growth, especially during the economic turmoil of the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Where Can I Find Helpful Links, Government Laws, and Resources about Prostitution Legality in Moscow?

For further information about the legality of prostitution in Moscow and the related laws and penalties, you can consult the following resources:

  • Article 240 of the Russian Criminal Code (in Russian)
  • Article 241 of the Russian Criminal Code (in Russian)
  • Article 6.11 of the Russian Administrative Code (in Russian)
  • Human Rights Watch report on the situation of sex workers in Russia
  • Amnesty International’s position on decriminalizing sex work

It is important to be aware of the legal status of prostitution in Moscow and the associated risks and penalties for those involved in the industry. While the debate surrounding the decriminalization of sex work continues, it remains a criminal offense in Moscow and throughout Russia.

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