Where is prostitution legal in Africa?
Often regarded as the oldest profession, prostitution is an intricate part of human life and has ultimately been woven into society’s fabric. It majorly involves the exchange of sex for financial or non-financial rewards between two or more consenting adults.
The existence of prostitution in Africa dates back to the pre-colonial period. In modern society, prostitution has tremendously evolved into a technological undertaking following the development of the internet. You can hook up with prostitutes, hookers and call girls from anywhere in the world through online escort directories and dating apps.
However, in Africa, prostitution has always been a contentious issue not only among the public but also among lawmakers. This has made the trade to not have a one-size-fits-all status. Some countries have worked hard towards decriminalizing the profession, while others have made prostitution completely illegal and punishable by law.
Various factors have forced women and men to engage in prostitution, and some of these include high unemployment rates, poverty, civil wars, among others. The legality of prostitution in Africa is however determined by factors such as social norms, freedom of choice, ethics, morality, and gender roles.
Prostitution in Africa: Legal or illegal?
The legality of prostitution is based on various factors. In some other countries, prostitution has wholly been prohibited. In case you are found practicing it, you are liable to face litigation under various laws such as the Penal Code of Rwanda and Uganda’s 1950 Penal Code.
Neo-abolitionism classifies prostitution as violence against females, and the pimps managing the prostitutes are the ones who bear the legal ramifications, not the prostitutes. Abolitionism indicates that the managing of brothels and pimping activities are illegal, without criminalizing prostitution.
Where is prostitution legal in Africa
In most African countries, prostitution is illegal. However, it is legal in the following countries:
Central Africa Republic
This country has legalized prostitution. However, brothels and pimping are illegal, and if you are arrested for engaging in these practices, you can face up to 1 year in jail. Nonetheless, in the case of an underage prostitute, you can face up to 5 years.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Prostitution is legal in DRC. Nonetheless, pimping and managing brothels are illegal and punishable by law.
This nation has legalized prostitution. However, the trade is regulated, Eritrean prostitutes are prohibited from carrying out their activities near churches, hospitals, and schools.
Prostitution is legal in Ethiopia. However, according to Article 634 of its Penal Code, pimping and operating brothels is illegal and can attract huge fines and/or jail time.
The legality of prostitution in Kenya is complex. It has not yet been criminalized by law. However, the Penal Code under Sections 153 and 154 states that aiding, abetting, and profiting from prostitution is illegal.
Prostitution is legal in Madagascar. However, engaging in sex with a child can attract ten years of jails sentence. Moreover, operating brothels is illegal.
The South African nation has legalized all forms of prostitution, including brothels and pimping. Exotic escorts in Malawi thrive due to this.
Prostitution and managing brothels are legal in Mozambique.
Prostitution in South Sudan is legal. However, managing brothels is illegal.
However, in all these countries, it is illegal to engage in other practices such as child prostitution, operating brothels, and pimping. Nevertheless, prostitution in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, and Guinea Bissau is not illegal per se. However, there are different laws such as vagrancy, public disorder, and loitering, which are used to prosecute prostitutes.