Belgium Decriminalizes Prostitution

Apr 8, 2022

On March 17, 2022, Belgium Federal Parliament approved a proposal to remove criminalization for 3 distinct categories: selling sex, paying for sex, and working with sex workers. Zero in on that last one, as it’s often about safety and community. Working with sex workers could be giving someone a ride to see a client and picking them up after, giving accounting advice, or providing security support. Other European countries have legalized and regulated prostitution, but Belgium is making history by emphasizing social protection in their reform. 

Belgium, which has long had a culture of “tolerance” towards its red light districts, is now removing sex work from its penal code. Crucially, they’ll also be establishing new definitions of criminal abuse, making it distinct from consensual labor, and instead including trafficking or pressuring a worker. This reform is due in part to the advocacy of the sex worker rights union UTSOPI. Thank you, Belgium, for being another global example of how we can decriminalize sex work in the United States, too!

Excerpted From: We Are All Worthy – with Alexandra Hunt / Old Pro News

Learn More: UTSOPI is a sex worker-only organisation, working across Belgium to promote sex workers’ safety and rights.

Background: Advocates Call for State Legislature to Pass González-Rojas’ Bill to Decriminalize Unlicensed Massage Parlors / Reason