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The amendment to the Social Order and Maintenance Act stipulates local governments can designate a special sex trade zone for consenting adults. However, all 22 county and city mayors have spoken against fencing off a sex zone in their district on fears of a surge in crime rates and a plunge in real estate values. Before, only the sex workers themselves were penalized while the johns were allowed to go free. Prostitution, once a thriving industry and an important source of tourism in Taiwan, was first regulated by the government in when it stipulated only licensed brothels were allowed to operate and that the brothels must close down after the original owner died or be taken over by a member of the immediate family.
In , the then-Taipei City mayor and currently incarcerated ex-president Chen Shui-bian, imposed a complete ban on brothels and stopped issuing new licenses. The 18 licensed brothels that remained were required to close down after the original owner died or be taken over by a member of the immediate family. Currently, only 11 of the originally licensed brothels are left. However, according to COSWAS, there are more than , sex workers and two million patrons currently on the island.
According to a U. In an op-ed published earlier this month in the newspaper Apple Daily, Ms. Chung warned , the new regulation could put sex workers at a greater risk of abuse as the industry is likely to be driven further underground because of a complex web linking brothel owners, the mafia and police. The government, however, insists that the legislation has already demonstrated a deterrent effect.
Within the designated zones, Mr. He also said the surrounding area will also be safer because police will be under pressure not to let crime rates outside the zones rise. Huang said, adding that a few county heads are already mulling how to present the idea to their constituents.
Scores Killed in Afghanistan Wedding Blast. Nov 16, A new Taiwanese law that allows red-light districts for the first time has met a lukewarm response from the public, including prostitutes who argue it could actually make their plight even worse.