Half of All Bulgarians Want Prostitution Legalized - Poll

Society | October 26, 2010, Tuesday // 13:43|  views

Bulgaria's Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov (L) during the Tuesday round table dedicated to issues of prostitution and sexual exploitation. Photo by BGNES

One of every two tourists in Bulgaria has been approached with an offer for paid sex, according to a poll conducted by the "Risk Monitor" Foundation.

The results were presented Tuesday at a round table dedicated to prostitution and sexual exploitation. The event is organized by the Foundation and the National Commission for Prevention of Human Trafficking.

Nearly 33% (1/3) of the foreign visitors, who were polled, say they paid or were asked to pay EUR 50 to 99 for sex services, the price in more upscale erotic clubs on the Black Sea coast.

A smaller percentage includes those who were asked and/or paid EUR 31 to 49.

Data further shows that 20% of the respondents have been approached directly by a street prostitute.

The poll also included taxi cab drivers with over 30% of them saying they paid BGN 60 to 100 for sex.

Prostitutes in massage parlors, clubs, upscale hotels and erotic clubs in Bulgaria make anywhere between BGN 2 000 to BGN 5 000 a month with profits split in half between the prostitutes and the establishment.

The highest prices in luxury places reach BGN 300 per hour, and if pimps are involved – BGN 600 per hour to BGN 1 000 per night.

76% of all those offering sexual services for cash are Roma; 11% say they are not Bulgarian.

Half of the polled Bulgarians (56.6%) see prostitution is an immoral act while over 53% - as a violation of human rights. 23% answer prostitution is a profession as all others and 47% want it legalized.

41% think poverty is the most common reason for becoming a prostitute while 8% believe it is the result of pressure from another individual.

39% say customers must face legal charges only if they use the services of minors or of women who have been forced to do it. 27% want legal sanctions in all cases.

"Paid sex is connected to organized crime. It is a very lucrative business and Bulgaria ranks third in the trafficking of women in Europe after Romania and the Ukraine," Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who also took part in the discussion, pointed out.

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Tags: Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, Round Table, prostitution, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, paid sex, Risk Monitor Foundation


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