Prague authorities are proposing to legalize prostitution in the Czech Republic, the Czech capital's deputy mayor said.
According to Rudolf Blazek, the mayor's office has prepared a draft law legalizing prostitution, which will soon be submitted to the parliament.
"Practicing prostitution would be considered legal if a relevant business license is obtained. The interested parties must pay taxes, have insurance and pass mandatory monthly health examinations," Blazek told journalists on Saturday.
The bill stipulates that only women older than 18 would be allowed to work as prostitutes in brothels, in their own homes or on-call by clients.
At the same time, the draft law prohibits public advertisement of sex services.
According to Prague authorities, there are at least 70 illegal brothels in the Czech capital alone, and over 800 throughout the country.
In addition, there are almost 200 websites for sex services in the Czech Republic, up from 45 in 1997, which enable sex tourists to book their travel and appointments to buy sex acts before they leave home.
Prague has the world's first online brothel, Big Sister, where customers get free sex with the sex acts being broadcast on the Internet.
Prague administration's proposal follows an established trend in Western Europe. Holland led the way when it legalized prostitution as a profession in 1988. Prostitutes are members of the Service Sector Union, and began paying income tax in 1996.
In neighboring Germany, prostitutes are legal and receive state medical insurance. Cities designate areas and times for brothels to do business. Similarly in Austria, prostitutes are registered, undergo biweekly health checks and pay income tax.
The Czech government attempted in the past to legalize and regulate prostitution, but these efforts have failed.
In 2005, the Czech government approved a law to license prostitutes and confine the trade to certain areas as part of an effort to curb prostitution and reduce organized crime. However, the parliament failed to approve it.
WARSAW, September 12 (RIA Novosti)