Sex Work

Latvia strongly regulates sex work with the aim of reducing prostitution and prescribes regular mandatory health checks for sex workers. Adult prostitution is allowed but procuring is not.

Article 1631 of the Criminal Law provides penalties for the establishment, management, maintenance and financing of a brothel;

 Article 164 of the Criminal Law provides punishment for involving persons in prostitution and the procuring of persons for prostitution, using their trust in bad faith, or by means of fraud, or by taking advantage of the dependence of the person on the offender or of his or her state of helplessness;

 Article 165 of the Criminal Law provides punishment for a person who commits taking advantage, for purposes of enrichment, of a person who is engaged in prostitution;

 Article 1651 of the Criminal Law provides punishment for sexual exploitation of a person with his or her consent

More limitations have been introducted in  January 2008. The most important change

contains the strict regulation of where it is allowed to offer, provide and receive sexual services. This was done in order to achieve a decrease of the accessibility of sexual services.

 If the ‘Provisions Restricting Prostitution’ are violated, administrative liability is applicable. If the violation is repeated within a oneyear period, criminal liability is applicable.

 The new provisions (2008) contain the following set of rules:

 Engaging in prostitution is prohibited for underage persons and persons who do not have a health card.

A health card is issued to sex workers by a certified dermatovenerologist upon aninitial examination. Medical institutions and medical doctors receive the cards from the governmental health statistics and medical technologyagency.

 Persons are allowed to offer and provide paid sexual services in indoor premises (apartment, house) that they own or rent.

Prostitution is prohibited in the following indoor premises: if located less then 100 meters from educational institutions or churches; if located close to underage children/young people; if other individuals who reside in the same premises object to it. If these regulations are violated, the premises will be closed down.

 It is prohibited to offer and provide sexual services in groups. Managers of entertainment and vacation places are responsible for public order. They are obliged to restrict prostitution within their premises.

Sex wrokers must undergo monthly mandatory health checks with a certified dermatovenerologist.

Information about the health status is recorded on the health card.

Sex workers are not allowed to continue work while in medical treatment or medical or serological

surveillance for an infectious disease.

 If HIV-antibodies or an AIDS infection are detected, it’s prohibited to work as sex worker.

 The advertisement and promotion of sexual services through the Internet, in the press and

other mass media (except for erotic editions) as well as through another person’s mediation is


 Any action by a third party to promote prostitution is prohibited.

 Sex workers have to display the health card at the client’s demand.