Legal status of prostitution

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 March, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Kong and United Kingdom

Prostitution is not illegal but there are a number of offences linked to it. For example, it is an offence to procure a prostitute or to use premises as a brothel and live off the workers' earnings.


Prostitution was legalised in 2002. Prostitutes may work as regular employees under a contract, although most work independently.

New Zealand

The Prostitution Reform Act 2003 legalised adult prostitution and brothels. The government records 'brothel operator certificates' online.


Prostitution is not illegal. However, street prostitution is illegal in New South Wales and Queensland (though not for the client). Street prostitution is allowed in Victoria, but not near schools, churches or hospitals. New South Wales and Victoria allow licensed brothels.


Prostitution has always been legal in Canada, but soliciting on a busy street or public area is not allowed.


Prostitution is legal. Operating a brothel and soliciting in public are technically illegal, but officially tolerated in designated red-light areas.


Prostitution is illegal. The government does not even permit the public advocacy of legalisation of prostitution.

Source: Home Office of the UK and Decriminalise Prostitution Now Coalition,