This map shows the legal status of prostitution (not activities surrounding prostitution such as brothels, pimping, etc.) by country. Prostitution is engaging in sexual activity with another person in exchange for compensation, such as money or other valuable goods.
Sex work is criminalized either through direct prohibitions on selling sexual services for money or through laws that prohibit solicitation of sex, living off of the earnings of sex work, brothel-keeping, or procuring sexual services. By reducing the freedom of sex workers to negotiate condom use with clients, organize for fair treatment, and publicly advocate for their rights, criminalization and aggressive policing have been shown to increase sex workers’ vulnerability to violence, extortion, and health risks.
This document from Open Society Foundations provides ten reasons why decriminalizing sex work is the best policy for promoting health and human rights for sex workers, their families, and communities.
Report of the Prostitution Law Review Committee on the Operation of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 in New Zealand