“If the coalition partners still manage to agree on the final version of the bill and the government can still consider the bill this summer, then unfortunately the Saeima will go on summer holidays in the near future,” Bole pointed out.
Although the situation is “as it is”, Bole pointed out that the field of prostitution is less relevant in the general context of crime. In view of the above, it is unlikely that from July 1, people will engage in mass prostitution and people will focus more on organizing this care, she said.
Bole also referred to the number of persons punished by the police for violations in this area, namely, in 2018, persons were held administratively liable in 53 cases, while last year 67 natural persons and one legal entity were fined.
The Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior also reminded that despite the lack of administrative regulation, criminal liability is still in force, which provides for penalties for pimping, ie for the use of a person who engages in prostitution for the purpose of subsistence. Responsibility is also provided for the involvement of a person in prostitution, the use of prostitution of a minor and for sending a person with his or her consent for sexual exploitation abroad.
In Latvia, prostitutes are mostly concentrated in Riga. Toms Sadovskis, a spokesman for the Riga Municipal Police (RPP), explained to LETA that the rules for restricting prostitution in the capital are mostly not observed on the street.
Although there will be no mechanism for penalizing violations of the rules restricting prostitution from 1 July, the restrictions themselves will remain in place.
Police will continue to monitor places where such violations have been observed in the past to identify the consequences of the absence of the law. The police will also look for solutions so that they can monitor the order in the city as effectively as possible, Sadovskis explained.
“However, it must be admitted that the control of restrictions, if there is no sanction in the law, is like trying to run a marathon with bound legs. Therefore, the law restricting prostitution must be adopted as soon as possible,” Sadovskis emphasized.
It has already been reported that the Prostitution Restriction Bill previously submitted to the Government by the Ministry of the Interior provided that the use of prostitution by a person under the age of 25 is prohibited and that a person of this age is also prohibited from engaging in prostitution. The bill provided that the use of prostitution by a victim of human trafficking was prohibited.
The draft law also provided that persons who engage in or have engaged in prostitution are provided with social rehabilitation services at the expense of the state budget in order to promote their integration into society and the labor market, at the same time achieving the renunciation of prostitution. It is envisaged that the Cabinet of Ministers will determine the type, amount, content of social rehabilitation, conditions for receiving services, granting procedures and requirements for the provider of social rehabilitation services.
With regard to sex buyers, the bill provided that they would be required to attend a behavioral correction program. Also in this case, the content, amount, procedure of receipt and execution of the behavior correction program will be determined by the Cabinet.
With regard to administrative liability, the bill provided for a warning or a fine of up to € 500 for engaging in prostitution under the age of 25.