Legalization of Prostitution in Kazakhstan: fiction or reality

A few months ago, Amnesty International called for the legalization of prostitution. At its International Council Meeting in Dublin, Amnesty International passed a resolution to initiate a campaign to decriminalize prostitution in the world. Four hundred delegates representing seventy countries supported this resolution.

The scientists – physicians earlier advanced the similar initiative at the International conference on propagation of AIDS, taken place in Melbourne in 2014.

At this context the question of legalization of prostitution recently also arose in Kazakhstan, including the statements of some deputies of Parliament of Kazakhstan (though it is obvious, that such statements were very careful):

“I think it is always better to legalize something in order to supervise it. I know that in industrialized countries, in Europe all this is legalized. But it would not be desirable, that it will be in Kazakhstan” said Svetlana Romanovskaya, the deputy of Mazhilis of Parliament of Kazakhstan

The deputy of Mazhilis of Parliament of Kazakhstan Kamal Burkhanov doubts, that prostitution will bring the essential income in treasury: “Our country is rich enough. We are prosperous state if not looking at our problems. We have bypassed Poland on GDP per capita. We come close to a category of the states with a high level of income.”

The deputy of Mazhilis of Parliament of Kazakhstan Gulmira Issimbayeva thinks that it is necessary to study advantages and disadvantages of legalization of prostitution: “The most important is the fact that legalization must not harm the population”

The current legislation of Kazakhstan does not forbid prostitution since 2001 when the currently invalid Code of the Republic Kazakhstan “On administrative infraction” has been accepted.

The prohibition and the criminal liability is provided only for creation of dens and procurement with mercenary objective (article 309 of the CC of the RK), involving employment by prostitution with the use of violence, use of a state of dependence, blackmail, etc. (article 308 of the CC of the RK), involving employment of underage persons by prostitution (article 134 of the CC of the RK). For the provision of facilities for employment by prostitution the administrative responsibility in the form of the penalty from 200.000 KZT is set.(article 450 of the Administrative Code of the RK).

One of the main principles of state regulation of private business in Kazakhstan is the principle of freedom of private business (realization of any kinds of activity which has been not forbidden by legislation of the RK) and maintenance of its protection and support (article 10 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan and paragraph 2 article 4 of The Law of the RK “On Private Entrepreneurship”

In other words, one of the principle of Private Entrepreneurship in Kazakhstan is Roman principle “ubi jus incertum, ibi nullim” (“all that is not forbidden is authorized”).

Considering, that there is no legislative acts in Kazakhstan prohibiting the employment by prostitution, and based on the current legislation, we can make a conclusion, that the person, engaged in prostitution, has the full right (and by virtue of the tax laws of Kazakhstan is obliged) to be registered as the individual entrepreneur in tax authorities with the indication of the type of activity – prostitution or rendering of paid sexual services, choose a tax regime (for example, the patent) and pay taxes to carry out social insurance, pension deductions, etc., that is to be socially protected alongside with other citizens of Kazakhstan.

But sure, tax authorities never thought about requiring the persons, engaged in prostitution, to register as businessmen and pay taxes.

It turns out, that the people rendering paid sexual service have dropped out of the sphere of state regulation.
Sex trade is known from Ancient Rome and is one of the oldest trades in the world. Regardless of whether we want it or not, there is, was and will be prostitution in Kazakhstan.

In my opinion, it is necessary to apply a known principle “if you can’t beat them, join them”.

And what if Kazakhstan will really continue work on final legalization of prostitution, having excluded the criminal and administrative responsibility for the organization of dens, brothels and procurement with simultaneous introduction of state regulation for the given activity?

It will lead to several positive factors:

а) In case of correct organization of this direction the income to the budget due to creation of a new world route for sex-tourism will essentially increase;

b) The quantity of diseases, transferred by sexual means (including HIV, etc.) will decrease in the country;

c) The criminal component in this market will disappear.

On the one hand, it compromises the moral and cultural wealth of the population.
On the other hand, considering, that prostitution in Kazakhstan de facto exists, I consider, that its legalization will not have essential influence on traditional moral and cultural wealth (for example, in Thailand, known for quivering attitude to Buddhism and the King, there is the world famous street Walking Street located in the resort city of Pattaya, annually drawing millions tourists from all over the world and providing considerable deliveries in a national economy)

On the contrary, introduction of proper state regulation for this activity will allow to clear of prostitution from the street of the cities of Kazakhstan (those who walk in the evening near the train station in Astana, will understand me), to protect minors employment by this activity, to eradicate violence of the given category of citizens, will provide compliance with the rights, eliminate existing professional discrimination, provide social security for this trade (pension deductions, experience, social insurance, etc.)

If we address to world experience, we shall note, that prostitution is legalized in such countries as Austria, the Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Poland, Turkey, Hungary, Czech Republic, Chile, Italy, Belgium, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Finland, the republic of South Africa, Canada, on a greater part of Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. And in the countries of Southeast Asia (except for Philippines and China), partially in the USA.

For some time prostitution has been allowed even in Iran.

In such countries as the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Australia (some states), New Zealand brothels (public houses) are also officially allowed.

In Sweden, Norway and Iceland from the point of view of the law an offence is made by the client, instead of the prostitute.

Referential information:

In Korea prostitution though it is officially illegal provides an annual income about 14 billion, or 10,5 billion US dollars (1,6 % of GDP), and the girls borrowed in rendering of services of sexual character are amounted to 269.000. Today prostitution in Korea is very widespread and is profitable business. Despite of struggle of authorities against this phenomenon, in many cities of the country officially there are Red-light districts in which girls are standing in the show-windows illuminated by intimate pink light, waiting for clients. Also the quantity of so-called massage salons, room-salons, hostess bars and even hairdressing salons in which girls from the attendants also provide paid sexual salons is numerous.
Despite of an official interdiction of the given activity, the girls engaged in prostitution, are watched closely – they are obliged to pass regular medical survey. Till 2004, that is before introduction of the responsibility for clients by the government of South Korea in case they will be caught when paying for sex (the penalty or one year in prison), prostitution brought 21 billion dollars per year – 4 % of a gross product of the country.

It just so happened, that the basic directions of tourism are places where it is warm for the most part of the year, there is a sea, the famous places of interest, etc.

In this context, it is hard for Kazakhstan to compete with Thailand, Turkey, France, the Great Britain, Italy, Spain, etc..

Therefore, in view of the falling price for oil, it is necessary for Kazakhstan to make a “brake-through” for a sharp increase of quantity of foreign tourists.

Everyone knows the famous street of red lights in Amsterdam or Walking Street in Pattaya. These are already famous brands.

Maybe Kazakhstan should also create such brand, having completely legalized brothels and dens in some certain visited places (for example, in Borovoye – place of legalization of a casino), or in other beautiful places.

But it shall be done wisely, having preliminary invested in an accomplishment, small lamps, beautiful streets, advertising, in an appropriating infrastructure so that both in winter and in summer there will be foreign tourists, and thus creating one more world route for sex – tourism.

Sure, that with the proper approach and the proper organization it will provide stable and significant deliveries in the budget which will not depend on the price for oil and other external factors.

According to the most conservative estimates the annual turnover in this shadow business in our country amounts to 20 billion tenge.

It is clear: it is much easier to dismiss this problem, than to competently think over this question, to study world experience, to consider all pros and cons, to review consequences from legalization of prostitution. It is obvious even now that the high price for oil which has turned the heads of many people and has pushed the necessity for creation of new effective projects into the background will not be so high forever.

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