Sex worker sues Saint-Josse for banning prostitution

Sex worker sues Saint-Josse for banning prostitution
Credit: Belga (illustration pitcute)

A sex worker who usually works on the Rue de Linné, in the Brussels' municipality of Saint-Josse, has lodged an appeal with the Council of State to immediately suspend the ban on sex work currently in force.

The sex worker lodged an appeal with the Belgian Council of State against the ban on sex work currently in force in the municipality, despite the federal green light given to the sex work sector.

"The sex worker is doing this by herself, with a lawyer," Maxime Maes of UTSOPI, a union for sex workers in Belgium, told The Brussels Times. "This is not an initiative by us or another organisation. But I understand her position," he added.

According to the sex worker's lawyer, the mayor does not have the power to prohibit sex work in his municipality, as the authorisation to resume sex work was not published in the Official Belgian Gazette, reports RTBF.

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That decision must be published on the website of the Federal Public Economy Service, not of the Official Gazette, the lawyer added.

A decree of mayor Emir Kir envisages a resumption of activities for sex workers in Saint-Josse from 1 July.

Additionally, the administrative fine she was given for non-compliance with the ban was set at €350, which is €100 more than fines imposed for non-compliance with the coronavirus measures, the lawyer added. On top of that, administrative fines related to sex work are prohibited, as only police fines are allowed.

The lawyer is now waiting for a hearing date.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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