St. Maarten Government allows two more brothels

POSTED: 04/15/11 12:27 PM

Licensing system coming for prostitutes

St. Maarten – The Adult Entertainment Policy, first approved in 2003, has been amended to allow for two more brothels to open. The policy formerly allowed six brothels, but the changes take the number to eight. Each of the two new establishments will be allowed 20 girls and are exempted from the requirement that they should have been open before August 1, 2002. The number of strip clubs allowed a license remains frozen at four, meaning no new licenses will be given.

The changes to the policy, approved by the Minister on February 26, are part of a wider effort that will lead to new legislation on prostitution. The broad outlines of that law, which includes a registration system for prostitutes and introduces medical and safety requirements, were also approved recently.

In first instance the government plans to revise the penal code as it relates to prostitution and will seek to control and regulate the employment of prostitutes through a licensing system. That system will include a licensing fee that will be pumped into a medical fund and finance the setup and management of a crisis agency that will provide assistance to people in the sex trade.

The government also plans to introduce more stringent and effective controls to reduce abuses, provide protection for the women in the trade and protect people from being coerced into the trade. The government will also seek to protect minors from sexual abuse, to reduce prostitution among people who are residing here illegally and sever the links between prostitution and crime.

The concept legislation will also require brothels to conform to zoning and urban renewal plans and community/neighborhood by-laws on the living and working environment. It will also require them to conform to a minimum working space size, take precautions against fires and meet hygiene standards. One key requirement is that each room has a panic button.

An effort will also be made to protect the physical and mental integrity of prostitutes by improving the medical and safety requirements. The law will also review the allowed quota per establishment.


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