List of Countries Where Prostitution Is Legal 2024

Prostitution is an act where prostitutes sell sex services to clients in exchange for money and goods. A Prostitute can be a male, female, or transgender, and the services provided by these workers can heterosexual or homosexual. Although a vast range of prostitutes usually involves females the majority of clients buying sex services are men.

Selling sex services is deemed morally wrong, unethical, and illegal in numerous countries around the world. However, there are various countries where the government has legalized prostitution.

Although there might still be certain restrictions towards a few activities such as brothels, pimplings, street prostitution, and more. In this article, we will take a look at the Countries Around The World That Have Legalized Prostitution along with the law that has legalized the act. So, let’s begin. 

Countries with Legal Prostitution

We have collected a list of countries around the world that have legalized prostitution. Below we have mentioned the country, along with the law that approves prostitution or sexual services. 


Prostitution is legal in Germany and it contains a federal system that basically allows each state to have its own interpretation, enactment, and enforcement of federal legislation.  

This law was first promoted or came to light on 20 December 2001. However, this law came into force one month later on 1st January 2002. The Prostitution Act is a federal law in Germany that regulates the legalization of prostitution as a service. This law helps improve the legal and social conditions and situations of prostitutes living in the country. 

The legalization of Prostitution in Germany was made in 2017 when the country introduced the “Prostitutes Protection Act.” This Act was aimed to protect the legal rights of prostitutes and sex workers. According to the act, all prostitution trades must have a permission and registration certificate. 


Mexico is another country that has legalized prostitution under federal law. According to this law, each of the 31 states of Mexico contains its own prostitution legislation. Out of which 13 of them allow and regulate prostitution.

Although prostitution involving minors under the age of 18 is illegal and contains major consequences. Various cities in Mexico contain a “tolerance zone” which operates as a red-light district and allows people to regulate prostitution.

However, most areas in Mexico have prohibited pimping which is basically the practice of controlling and arranging clients for prostitution and gaining a commission from their earnings. 


Prostitution is considered legal in India according to The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act of 1956. Even though prostitution is legal, certain sexual activities are considered to be illegal in India such as Managing or owning a brothel according to Section 3, Prostitution in a Hotel according to Section 7, and Pimping.

Apart from this, Child Prostitution is also banned in India and considered a punishable offense. According to Sections 372 and 373, it is considered illegal to sell, buy, or import minors in any sexual or prostitution activity. 

New Zealand

In New Zealand brothel-keeping, street solicitation, and living off the proceeds of someone else’s prostitution are considered to be a legal activity according to the “Prostitution Reform Act 2003.” However, any involuntary or coercion of sex workers is considered to be illegal.

New Zealand’s prostitution laws are considered to be one of the most liberal laws in the world. However, the Summary Offenses Act 1981 is still in effect, which basically states any rude behavior by a sex worker in public areas can be punishable. 


Singapore is another country that has legalized prostitution and allows prostitutes to sell sexual services in the country. However, there are certain rules and regulations concerning prostitution in Singapore. Like, Prostitution in Singapore is legal, nonetheless, numerous prostitution-related activities or services are considered to be illegal in the country.

Both local and foreign women in Singapore can offer sexual services from government-regulated brothels. According to the law, prostitutes need to have regular medical checkups and carry a health card with them. 

While sections 376A and 376B, state that any sexual interaction with a girl below the age of 16 with or without consent is considered a punishable offense. Also, purchasing sexual services from a girl below the age of 18 is also considered illegal in Singapore. 

Even though Prostitution is legal in Singapore, there are still various sexual activities that are considered illegal in the country, which are mentioned below: 

  • According to the Women’s Charter, Article 148, it is illegal to own a brothel in Singapore and is considered a punishable activity. 

Countries where prostitution is partially legal 

Now that we have witnessed countries that have legalized sexual activities or prostitution. Let’s take a look at those countries that have partially legalized the practice of prostitution across the world. These below-mentioned countries have different rules and regulations depending on the states towards prostitution. 


The first country in this list is Canada. Prostitution or selling sex is considered a legal activity in Canada. However, buying sex is considered to be illegal in Canada followed by the implementation of House Government Bill C-36 in 2014.

There are criminal penalties intact for purchasing sexual services and communicating in any place for that purpose near community centers, playgrounds, or schools is strictly prohibited under the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act


The law on prostitution varies from state to state in Australia the rules range from decriminalized to legal to crime. The federal legislation affects the rules and regulations of some aspects of sex work throughout Australia.

The first-ever state in Australia to thoroughly decriminalize sex work was New South Wales. The decriminalization of prostitution first took place in 1995. In 1998, the Summary Offences Act also legalized brothels in New South Wales. In 2022, Victoria (another state in Australia) also decriminalized sex work and made street-based sexual services legal. 

Although it did restrict sex work near specific locations such as churches and schools. South Australia, West Australia, NT, Queensland, ACT, and Tasmania, are the rest of the areas in Australia that have legalized prostitution. However, Brothels are still illegal in South Australia under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 and the Summary Offences Act 1953.


Similar to Canada, it is legal to sell sex in France, but buying sex is considered to be an illegal activity in France after the adoption of Law No. 2016-444 on April 13, 2016. It is also stated that sex workers can be penalized with traffic violations, and public order, immigration, and anti-trafficking laws are majorly enforced for migrant sex workers in France.

The law enforcement for prostitution varies across the country. While discreet brothels are recognized in cities and towns. 


In Japan, the concept of prostitution is limited to vaginal intercourse, hence operating brothels, soliciting, coercing a person into prostitution, profiting from sexual services, and more are considered punishable as per Statute. According to the 1956 Prostitution Prevention Law, it is illegal in Japan to conduct or indulge in any “unnamed intercourse for payment.”

It is restricted for anyone to either sell prostitution or buy sex services according to Article 3 of the prostitution prevention law. However, other forms of commercial sex such as in Massage parlors, SoapLands, and more are allowed and considered legal in Japan. 

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has also made prostitution partially legal. According to Article 15 of Human Trafficking and Exploitation, In Northern Ireland, it is considered legal to trade sex. Although, it is considered illegal to buy sex in Northern Ireland.

Apart from this, below we have mentioned the following activities that are considered to be illegal in the United Kingdom: 

  • Approaching people in public areas for sexual services. 
  • Utilizing phone booths to promote your businesses. 
  • Renting or allowing a brothel to operate on your land. 
  • Trafficking people to the UK or anywhere around the UK for sexual services. 
  • Using fraud, threat, or force to get access to someone selling sex services. 

The Sale and purchase of sex services are considered legal in England and Wales according to the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, “Prostitution: Third Report of Session 2016–17, in 2016.

Yet, numerous prostitution-related activities are considered to be illegal in the United Kingdom such as maintaining or owning a brothel, or selling and buying sex services in public places such as streets, near churches, schools, and more.

United States of America

Like the majority of the countries mentioned above the United States of America also includes a federal system. Therefore, each state holds different rules and regulations concerning sex work or prostitution in the country.

For example, Most of the states in the US have restricted buying, selling, or organizing sexual services. While the majority of the states in the USA consider prostitution an illegal activity, Nevada is one of the states that has legalized licensed brothels. 

However, there are still various rules applied in Nevada such as mandatory HIV and STI testing. So, basically, except for Nevada, no other state allows prostitutes to practice, sell, or purchase sex services.