Amsterdam-style prostitution in Taiwan?

A legal prostitute poses for a photo inside a brothel converted into a museum in Taipei on June 26, 2009. Sex workers in Taiwan have cautiously welcomed a government plan to legalize prostitution, but opponents fear it will breed crime and violence. A red-light area similar to Amsterdam's famed sex-for-sale district has been proposed.
Credit: Sam Yeh

Taiwan is set to legally allow red-light prostitution zones by the year's end.

As in Amsterdam, the sex-for-sale district would corral the industry into regulated pockets of the various cities in lieu of letting it sprawl unchecked. Among the pro-red light arguments: government oversight will prevent abuse and enforce the use of condoms.

However, as the China Post reports, most of Taiwan's city authorities don't want the zones at all. Even though outlets such as Reuters acknowledge the obvious: sex is easily procured in bars and nightclubs if you just know where to go.

This week, Al-Jazeera's "101 East" has provided perhaps the best examination of the debate.

The show profiles a legislator concerned that buying sex will be as easy as a run to 7-11. And they also catch up with "Chi Chi," a prostitute who insists that "if we don't allow these businesses to exist, they simply go underground."

Such zones become legal in November, though it's unclear what neighborhoods will allow a place for prostitution.

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