Prostitution in Ukraine

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Prostitution in Ukraine is illegal but widespread and largely ignored by the government.[1] Sex tourism rose as the country attracted greater numbers of foreign tourists.[1] [2]

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Extent

According the Ukrainian Institute of Social Studies in 2011 there were 50,000 women working as prostitutes with every sixth prostitute being a minor.[3] The organization claimed the largest number of prostitutes were found (in 2011) in Kiev (about 9,000 people), then in the Odessa area (about 6,000), about 3,000 could be found in Dnipropetrovsk and in Donetsk, in Kharkiv 2,500 and 2,000 were said to have worked in Crimea.[3] Research by the State Institute for Family and Youth Issues indicates that, for many women, sex work has become the only adequate source of income: more than 50% of them support their children and parents.[4] 10% of adolescents living on the streets (in 2011) were suspected to have provided sex to other men for food and clothing.[3]

Reform to prostitution laws

Laws criminalizing organized prostitution and penalties for human trafficking have had little effect because many convicted traffickers often do not end up serving prison time. [5] On January 12, 2005 the Ukrainian parliament passed tougher criminal penalties for human trafficking and coerced prostitution. However, previous laws criminalizing organized prostitution have had little effect.[1][6]

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