As Potent Sex Trade Fizzles, Czechs Look to Legalize

Czech Republic, hotbed of sex tourism, sees numbers drop
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2008 7:12 AM CST
In the Czech Republic, long an epicenter of sex tourism, the recession is cutting into prostitution.   (©ajvhan)
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(Newser) – In the Czech Republic, prostitution is somewhere between legal and illegal—which has made Prague one of the biggest sex tourism hotspots in Europe. But a global recession, coupled with a strong local currency, has led to a sharp drop in the world's oldest profession. The hotel industry is so nervous, writes the New York Times, that it's pushing the government to legalize prostitution once and for all—and the government is considering it.

Proponents say the move would help stem human trafficking and generate millions in revenue. But others are glad to see that business is bad: In one Czech town near the German border, prostitution became so rampant that the price of sex dropped to just 5 euros, and the city had to build an orphanage for dozens of unwanted babies. Now almost all of the brothels there have gone out of business. "The one good thing about the economic crisis," said the city's mayor, "is that it is helping to keep sex tourists away."