Women and Justice: Keywords


Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions (Amendment) Act 2019 (2019)

Gender discrimination

The 2019 Act made the 2015 Act’s (available here) health benefits available to a broader group of women – including those who had worked in 'the institutions covered by the Magdalen Restorative Justice ex-gratia Scheme' while residing in certain adjoining institutions (Section 2).

Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Act 2015 (2015)

Gender discrimination

The 2015 Act provides for free health services for women who worked in Magdalen laundries (institutions ostensibly intended to house and employ ‘fallen’ women). Its Schedule provides for the 'Relevant Institutions' for the purposes of identifying women entitled to the provision of services. The 2015 Act was updated in 2019 (available here) to expand the group of women eligible for benefits under the Act.

Código Penal Capítulo IV – Artigos 189-190, 195-197: Tráfico Humano (Penal Code: Human Trafficking) (2020)

Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons

The promotion or facilitation of prostitution involve taking advantage of the victim’s economic necessity or vulnerability or coerce the victim by means of violence, threat or fraud pursuant to article 189, and it is punished with a sentence of 1-8 years of imprisonment. If the facilitation or coercion to prostitution is made in a foreign country, the crime committed falls within article 190, i.e. human sexual trafficking, which command a higher sentencing of up to 10 years in prison. The promotion or facilitation of the prostitution of minors under 18 years old is prohibited by article 195. Under the same article and incurring in the same penalties is the individual who repeatedly practices sexual acts with a minor. Here, if the agent coerces, threatens, acts with violence, has the intent of monetary gains, if the minor has diminished psychological capacity, or if the minor is under the age of 14, the maximum penalty increases to 15 years. The act of soliciting by means of paying the minor is punished under article 197 with up to three years of imprisonment, whilst if penetration was involved the penalty increases to five years (in case another more severe penalty pursuant to another article is not applicable).

A promoção ou facilitação da prostituição envolve tirar vantage da necessidade econômica ou vulnerabilidade da vítima ou coerção da vítima por meio de violência, ameaça ou fraude nos termos do artigo 189, e é punido com 1-8 anos de encarceramento. Se a facilitação ou coerção à prostituição é feita em outro país, o crime cometido recai no previsto pelo artigo 190, i.e. tráfico sexual humano, que tem uma sentença maior de até 10 anos de prisão. A promoção ou facilitação de prostituição de menores de 18 anos é proibida pelo artigo 195. Sob o mesmo artigo e incorrendo na mesma pena está o indivíduo que repetidamente realiza atos sexuais com menor. Aqui, se o agente coage, ameaça, age com violência, tem a intenção de ganho financeiro, se o menor tem capacidade psicológica diminuída, ou se é menor de 14 anos de idade, a penalidade máxima aumenta para 15 anos. O ato de solicitar por meio do pagamento ao menor é punido sob o artigo 197 com até três anos de encarceramento, enquanto se houver penetração envolvida a penalidade aumenta cinco anos (no caso de outra penalidade mais severa relacionada a outro artigo não for aplicável).

Código Penal: Livro II, Título I - Crimes contra a pessoa: Capítulo IV - Crimes contra a liberdade pessoal (Crimes against personal liberty) (1995)

Forced and early marriage, Sexual harassment, Trafficking in persons

Articles 154-A and B, 159, and 160 ban harassment (sentencing to up to three years in prison), forced marriage (sentencing to up to five years in prison), slavery (imprisonment from 5-15 years), and human trafficking (imprisonment from 3-10 years), respectively. Article 169 punishes the economic exploitation of prostitution by third parties, even though prostitution itself is not a crime in Portugal.

Law No. 350-3 “on Countering Human Trafficking” (Amended 2014) (2014)

Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons

Law No. 350-3 defines human trafficking and sets out measures to prevent human trafficking and related crimes. These include identifying victims of trafficking, educating, and providing information to citizens on related issues. The law further sets out measures for the protection and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking, including ensuring their safety, providing temporary accommodation, legal, medical, and psychological assistance, among others. The law provides that persons guilty of trafficking in persons or related crimes are punishable in accordance with the legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus and the victim's "unwillingness or inability" to change his or her "anti-social behavior" caused by the trafficking does not eliminate or mitigate the offender's liability.\

พระราชบัญญัติ แก ไขเพิ่มเติมประมวลกฎหมายอาญา (ฉบับที่ ๑๙) พ.ศ. ๒๕๕๐ มาตรา 286 (Act for the Amendment of the Penal Code (no. 19) of 2007 section 286) (1956)

Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons

The Criminal Code Section 286 criminalizes any person over the age of 16 years who subsists in whole or part on the earnings of a sex worker. The sentence is imprisonment of 7-20 years and a fine of 14,000-40,000 Baht, or imprisonment for life. The provisions of this section do not apply if the sex worker is bound to give maintenance according to law or morality.

English translation as of 2003 via ILO available here.

พระราชบัญญัติ ป้องกันและปราบปรามการค้าประเวณี พ.ศ. ๒๕๓๙ (Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act B.E. 2539 of 1996) (1996)

Gender discrimination, Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons

The “Prostitution Act” criminalizes various activities associated with sex work. The criminalized activities include (see Sections 5 to 13): soliciting oneself in a public place, associating with another in a sex work establishment for the purpose of prostitution, advertising oneself or another for the purpose of sex work, procuring a person for the purpose of prostituting that person, a parent who connives in the prostitution of their child who is under the age of 18, being an owner/manager/supervisor in a prostitution establishment or other controller of sex workers in a prostitution establishment, and detaining a person or threatening in any manner to compel engagement in sex work. The Prostitution Act only criminalizes individuals involved with selling sex, but carries no criminalization or consequences for a customer buying it unless the sex worker is under the age of 18. The penalty for involvement in prostitution ranges from a fine up to a term of imprisonment for life depending on the offense committed. A sex worker could be charged with a fine not exceeding 1,000 Baht and imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month. Over the past few years, police have been conducting raids, sometimes violently, on prostitution establishments. It has been noted that those who exploit women in prostitution are rarely prosecuted and women working in the entertainment sector are often presumed guilty and subject to humiliating treatment following arrest. There are also reports to widespread corruption and official complicity in prostitution and trafficking cases.

English translation available here.

Brottsbalk (Criminal Code) (1962)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons

The Swedish Penal Code includes regulations that defines and prohibits various sexually and/or physically motivated crimes against people. The penalty for kidnapping with intent to injure a person, to force a person into service or to practice extortion is imprisonment for at least four years and at most eighteen years, or for life. When a crime is less serious, the highest imprisonment term is six years. The penalty for human trafficking is imprisonment for 2-10 years. When a crime is less serious, the highest imprisonment term is four years. If a crime is in violation of liberty and peace or a sexual offense and it was committed by a man against a woman with whom he had a close intimate relationship (marriage or cohabitation), then the man will be sentenced for gross violation of a woman’s integrity and imprisoned for at least nine months and at most six years, as opposed to being sentenced for each individual crime committed. This crime was introduced in the Swedish Penal Code in 1998 and the construction of it is unique because several individual criminal offences together can constitute a gross crime. Perpetrators of rape shall be imprisoned for at least two and at most six years. If the rape is considered less aggravated, the sentence drops to at most four years. In the event the rape is “gross”, the sentence is extended to at most 10 years. The penalty for sexual intercourse with a child under 15 years of age (or an act comparable to sexual intercourse) is at least two and at most six years. If the crime is “gross”, the penalty is extended to at least five years and at most ten years. The penalty for sexual coercion is at most two years of imprisonment. Notwithstanding, if the sexual coercion is “gross”, the sentence is extended from at least six months to at most six years. The penalty for intercourse with an offspring is imprisonment for at most two years and for intercourse with a sibling is at most one year. The penalties for crimes of exploitation of a child for sexual posing, purchase of a sexual ct from a child and sexual molestation are sentencing to a fine or imprisonment for at most two years. Except for gross exploitation of a child for sexual posing where the sentence is at least six months and at most six years imprisonment. The penalty for purchase of sexual service is a fine or imprisonment for at most one year. Purchase of sexual service has occurred when a person obtains a temporary sexual relation in return for payment. This also applies if the payment was promised or given by another person. Selling sexual services in Sweden is not criminalized. The penalty for someone who promotes or improperly financially exploits a person’s engagement in temporary sexual relations in return for payment (procuring) is at most four years. In the event the procuring is “gross”, the sentence is 2-10 years. As of 2018, the Penal Code defines rape as any sex without consent, either with words or clear actions. Before the amendment, crimes of rape required the intent to rape someone through violence or threats, or that the victim was in a particularly vulnerable position. Furthermore, the 2018 sex crime reform of the Swedish Penal Code introduced criminal liability for negligent rape (Chapter 6 Section 1a) and negligent sexual abuse (Chapter 6 Section 3). Gross negligence is required for liability under the new regulations, rather than intention, as required for regular rape and sexual abuse in Chapter 6 Section 1 and 2. The penalty for negligent rape or negligent sexual abuse is at most four years.

Schweizerisches Strafgesetzbuch/Swiss Penal Code, Article 196: Sexual Acts with Minors Against Payment (2019)

Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons

Provides for criminal penalties of imprisonment for not more than three years or a monetary penalty for any person who carries out sexual acts with a minor or induces a minor to carry out such acts in return for payment or promises of payment. Unofficial English translation available here.

Combating of Immoral Practices Act (1980)

Sexual violence and rape, Trafficking in persons

The Combating of Immoral Practices Act aims to prevent and reduce prostitution and the existence of brothels. The Act imposes a criminal penalty for keeping a brothel of imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years or imprisonment and a fine. The Act punishes procuring or attempting to procure any female to have unlawful carnal intercourse with imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years. The Act also imposes criminal sentences for offenses related to prostitution and various immoral acts, such as the owner or occupier of a property permitting such acts, living on earnings of prostitution, or enticing someone to commit an immoral act.

Criminal Code (2000)

Abortion and reproductive health rights, Forced and early marriage, LGBTIQ, Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement

The Belize Criminal Code defines and criminalizes rape, including marital rape (Sections 46, 71-74); carnal knowledge of female child (Section 47); procuring or attempting to procure a woman (Section 49-50); compulsion of marriage (Section 58); incest by males (Section 62); abortion, miscarriage, and child destruction (Sections 111-12, 127). The Code mandates a minimum sentence of eight years for rape (Section 46), 12 years of carnal knowledge of a female child (Section 47), and a life sentence for habitual sex offenders (Section 48).

Of particular note:

Marital rape under Section 72 requires a showing that the spouses have separated, the marriage is dissolved, an order or injunction has been made, granted or undertaken against the spouse, or that the sexual intercourse was preceded or accompanied by assault and battery. Lack of consent is not enough if the parties are married. The Criminal Code also criminalizes same-sex relationships under Section 53, which criminalizes “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal.”Abortion and the aiding of abortion are felonies and carry a prison term of 14 years to imprisonment for life under Section 111. There are limited exceptions under Section 112 if two registered medical practitioners agree that the abortion is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother or her family or if the child may be seriously handicapped.

Domestic Case Law

Case No. B 1041-01 – the Prosecutor v. M.N. Hovrätten över Skåne och Blekinge (Court of Appeal of Skåne and Blekinge) (2002)

Gender discrimination, Sexual violence and rape, Trafficking in persons

M.N. was convicted for attempting to purchase sexual services from a woman, which is a criminal act under Chapter 6 Section 11 and Chapter 23 Section 1 of the Swedish Penal Code. The court considered whether the “attempt point” had been reached, which is a prerequisite for the attempt to be punishable. To constitute a criminal attempt, it is required that the offender begin the crime without reaching its completion. There must also be a risk that the act will lead to the completion of the crime. For purchases of sexual services the attempt point is reached when an offer of payment has been made. Here, the parties agreed to have sex in the woman’s apartment and agreed on the price. M.N. had access to money and they were on their way to the woman’s apartment when the police stopped them. Therefore, the Court ruled that M.N. had begun the crime and that the attempt point had been reached. The Court also found that the danger of completing the crime was imminent. Thus, M.N. was sentenced to 40 daily fines for his attempt to purchase sexual services.

KI 82/16 Gjykata Kushtetuese (Constitutional Court) (2017)

Gender discrimination, Gender-based violence in general, International law

The applicant, a local employee of the UN mission in Kosovo, was arrested and charged with various criminal offenses, including facilitating or compelling prostitution (Article 241 of the Criminal Code of Kosovo). The Basic Court found him guilty and sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment. The Court of Appeal affirmed the guilty verdict. The applicant filed a request for protection of legality with the Supreme Court, which rejected the request. The applicant then submitted a referral to the Constitutional Court, alleging, among other things, that he was discriminated against on the grounds of gender in violation of Article 24 of the Constitution because the trial court found credible the statement of a victim and a witness because they were women. The Constitutional Court explained that, in the applicant’s circumstance, equality before the law should be understood as a right of a party to impartial treatment and equal opportunity to exhaust legal remedies despite personal status. Under European Court of Human Rights case law interpreting Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, treatment is discriminatory if it has no objective and reasonable justification – that is, if it does not pursue a legitimate aim, or there is not a reasonable relationship of proportionality between the means and aim. The court dismissed the applicant’s allegation of gender discrimination as “manifestly ill-founded,” finding that he failed to prove how and why the trial court treated him in an unequal way in relation to the victim and witness at issue, only because they were women. The tribunal rejected the applicant’s other claims and concluded that he had not substantiated his allegations of a violation of the fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. Therefore, the applicant’s referral was declared inadmissible. (Also available in Srpski and English.)

U.S. v. Robinson United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2012)

Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons

A federal grand jury convicted the defendant-appellant of child sex trafficking in violation of 18 U.S.C. A minor victim testified that she started dating the defendant when she was 17 years old but had told him and others that she was 19 years old. She insisted that the defendant was only living off her income as a prostitute and was not a pimp facilitating prostitution. However, the prosecution introduced videotaped statements in which the defendant repeatedly implored Doe to make money for him and threatened her when she failed to deliver the money. Following a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of two counts of sex trafficking of a minor. On appeal, the Second Circuit considered the construction of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(c), an evidentiary provision added by the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (“TVPRA”), which provides that “[i]n a prosecution . . . in which the defendant had a reasonable opportunity to observe [the victim], the Government need not prove that the defendant knew that the person had not attained the age of 18 years.” The Second Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court, holding that this provision imposes strict liability with regard to the defendant’s awareness of the victim’s age and relieves the government’s usual burden to prove knowledge or reckless disregard of the victim’s underage status under § 1591(a). The Second Circuit rejected the defendant’s challenges to this provision as lacking merit and affirmed the judgment of the district court.

X. v. A., 6B_962/2010 Federal Court (2011)

Gender-based violence in general, Sexual violence and rape

A. was a drug-addicted prostitute working in the Sihlquai area in Zurich who agreed to perform certain sexual acts with client X. for a remuneration of Fr. 50. X. took A. to a rented room outside of the city of Zurich where X. beat A. with a whip and forced her to perform violent and humiliating sexual acts. A. claimed not to have agreed to perform these acts with X., while X. countered that they were part of the agreed transaction. X. was sentenced by the Baden District Court to imprisonment for sexually abusing A. X. appealed the verdict and the Canton Aargau Supreme Federal Court dismissed the appeal, finding the preconditions of sexual assault fulfilled. The Supreme Federal Court determined that, even if A. voluntarily agreed to perform certain sexual acts with X., she did not consent to the violent acts and she could not express her refusal in any other manner than verbally and through limited physical resistance. The Supreme Federal Court also found that the client X. could not expect the victim A. to agree to such violent sexual practices, even for remuneration.

Human Trafficking (Isolated Thesis Docket: I.9o.P.144 P (10a.)) Ninth Collegiate Tribunal in Criminal Matters of the First Circuit (2017)

Gender-based violence in general, Trafficking in persons


This isolated thesis is a relevant example of gender perspective case law, as the criteria issued by the collegiate tribunal is binding on such tribunal. In addition, such criteria may also be persuasive in similar cases arising in other federal courts. In this case, the federal court determined that it is a well-known fact that Mexican society discriminates against sex workers. In light of the stigma that sex workers carry, they are subject to continuous pressure from different societal actors, including their nuclear family, to refrain from providing statements or to withdraw initial statements regarding crimes committed against them. The collegiate tribunal held that when a sex-worker case comes before a court, the court must consider a gender perspective in its ruling. As a result, courts must use all available mechanisms in order to obtain irrefutable proof from the victim. The tribunal based its ruling on Article 2(c) and (d) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): “(c) to establish legal protection of the rights of women on an equal basis with men and to ensure through competent national tribunals and other public institutions the effective protection of women against any act of discrimination; (d) to refrain from engaging in any act or practice of discrimination against women and to ensure that public authorities and institutions shall act in conformity with this obligation.”


Esta tesis aislada es un ejemplo relevante de la jurisprudencia de la perspectiva de género, ya que los criterios emitidos por el tribunal colegiado son vinculantes para dicho tribunal. Además, dichos criterios también pueden ser persuasivos en casos similares que surjan en otros tribunales federales. En este caso, el tribunal federal determinó que es un hecho bien conocido que la sociedad mexicana discrimina a las trabajadoras en base a su sexo. En vista del estigma que las trabajadoras sexuales ejercen, están sujetos a la presión continua de diferentes actores sociales, incluida su familia nuclear, para que se abstengan de emitir declaraciones o de retirar declaraciones iniciales sobre los delitos cometidos contra ellas. El tribunal colegiado sostuvo que cuando un caso de trabajadora sexual se presenta ante un tribunal, el tribunal debe considerar una perspectiva de género en su decisión. Como resultado, los tribunales deben usar todos los mecanismos disponibles para obtener pruebas irrefutables de la víctima. El tribunal basó su decisión en el Artículo 2 (c) y (d) de la Convención sobre la Eliminación de Todas las Formas de Discriminación contra la Mujer (CEDAW): “(c) establecer la protección legal de los derechos de las mujeres en igualdad de condiciones con los hombres y asegurar a través de los tribunales nacionales competentes y otras instituciones públicas la protección efectiva de las mujeres contra cualquier acto de discriminación; (d) abstenerse de participar en cualquier acto o práctica de discriminación contra las mujeres y garantizar que las autoridades e instituciones públicas actúen de conformidad con esta obligación."

The Republic v. Banda, et al. High Court of Malawi (2016)

Gender discrimination, Trafficking in persons

On February 23, 2016, 19 women were arrested by police and jointly charged “for the offence of living on the earnings of prostitution” in violation of § 146 of the Penal Code of Malawi (the “Penal Code”) ( ¶ 1.1). A Fourth Grade Magistrate in Dedza convicted them “on their own plea of guilt” and fined them MK 7,000.00 each (¶ 1.2). The police lacked evidence to prove the charge against them. In addition, the women did not have legal representation during the proceedings, including when their guilty plea was recorded. The women challenged the conviction on July 28, 2016 on numerous grounds including (i) that the Fourth Grade Magistrate did not have jurisdiction, (ii) that the women were charged together when they should have been charged separately, (iii) that the High Court should not have accepted a unanimous plea, (iv) that “the charge was wrong in law as living on the earnings of prostitution does not target the sex worker herself” but those who live parasitically and exploitatively off her earnings, and (v) that the plea of guilty should not be accepted because the court did not comply with mandatory procedures regarding the defendants’ knowledge. The High Court found that the Fourth Grade Magistrate did not have jurisdiction to hear the case. In addition, the Court held that the arrest of the women was unconstitutional and not based on evidence. Citing the legislative history of the offense, the Court clarified that § 146 of the Penal Code did not criminalize sex work but was mainly intended to protect sex workers from those who would exploit them. The High Court held that even though sex workers may be arrested in circumstances under this section, the arrest must be properly supported by evidence. Consequently, the High Court vacated the convictions and ordered that fines be repaid to the women.

Decision 2005Do8130 Supreme Court of South Korea (2006)

Sexual violence and rape, Trafficking in persons

The Defendant was running a massage parlor that had hidden rooms with beds where a young female employee massaged the whole body of a male customer. The female employee, usually wearing a short skirt and a short-sleeved tee, would undress the male customer, grab his sexual organ with her hands with lotion on, touch the body part just like engaging in a sexual intercourse, and ultimately let him ejaculate. The issue was whether the act of the female employee in the Defendant’s parlor could be considered as "acts that are similar to sexual intercourse" under Article 2 (1) 1 sub paragraph Na of the Act on the Punishment of Acts of Arranging Sexual Traffic. The Act, which aimed to eradicate prostitution and protect the human rights of the victims of prostitution, did not distinguish “sexual intercourse” from “acts that are similar to sexual intercourse”. The Supreme Court interpreted "acts that are similar to sexual intercourse" as stipulated in the above Act to refer to acts of penetrating the body through the mouth or the anus, or at least acts for gaining sexual satisfaction similar to sexual intercourse. Then the Court went through a comprehensive evaluation of the circumstances, including the place where such act was conducted, the clothes the people were wearing, the body parts that were touched, the specific content of the act, and the degree of the resulting sexual satisfaction to decide whether the female employee’s act could be considered as “acts that are similar to sexual intercourse”. The Supreme Court held that the female employee’s act could be deemed as an act of bodily contact for gaining sexual satisfaction similar to sexual intercourse, and therefore dismissed the appeal by the Defendant.

State of Maharashtra v. Indian Hotel & Restaurants Association Supreme Court of India (2013)

Employment discrimination, Gender discrimination

The Bombay Police Act, 1951 was amended in 2005 with the object of securing public order, morality, dignity of women, and reducing exploitation of women including trafficking of minor girls. Section 33A was inserted that prohibited performance of all types of dance in eating houses or permit rooms or beer bars. Section 33B was inserted that permitted three star hotels and Government associated places of entertainment to hold dance performances. The Indian Hotel & Restaurants Association filed a writ petition challenging Section 33A of the Bombay Police Act, 1951 before the Bombay High Court on the grounds that such prohibition: (a) discriminates against women employed to dance in eateries and bars and those employed to dance in three star hotels and government establishments; (b) interferes with their right to work and right to earn a livelihood, and thus is violative of the Indian Constitution. The Bombay High Court held that Section 33A is violative of Articles 14 (equality) and 19(1)(g) (right to work), of the Indian Constitution. The Government of Maharashtra filed an appeal before the Supreme Court and prayed that the terms “All dance” found in Section 33A be read down to mean “dances which are obscene and derogatory to the dignity of women” instead of striking it off altogether to ensure that the right to work of women is not interfered with. The Supreme Court upheld the judgement of the Bombay High Court. It declared that Section 33A violates Article 14 the Constitution of India on the ground that such law is based on an unacceptable presumption that the so-called elite (i.e. rich and the famous) have higher standards of decency, morality or strength of character than their counterparts who have to content themselves with lesser facilities of inferior quality in the dance bars. It declared that Section 33A violates Article 19(1)(g) on the ground that it interferes with the right of women to work and that, contrary to the ban’s purpose, it resulted in forcing some women into prostitution. The Court further urged the government to take affirmative action to ensure the safety and improve the working conditions of the persons working as bar dancers who primarily constitute of women.

Sentencia Número 677 (Ruling 677) Provincial Court of Madrid (2012)

Sexual violence and rape, Trafficking in persons

In 2010, Spain amended its Penal Code by enacting Article 177 to prohibit human trafficking. Spain did so in response to international human rights agreements regarding human trafficking. This ruling was the first conviction under this new article. Two women reported to authorities that the defendants had lured them from Paraguay under false pretenses, forced them to work as prostitutes, and physically and emotionally assaulted them. The Provincial Court of Madrid found that the defendants' actions constituted: 1) crimes against the rights of foreign nationals (Article 318 bis), 2) human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation (Article 177 bis), 3) solicitation by coercion to commit prostitution (Article 188.1), and 4) sexual assault (Article 179). According to the court, the fact that the defendants promoted, encouraged, or facilitated illegal immigration with the intention of using the women for prostitution was enough to find criminal sexual exploitation. The court found the victims’ testimony to be credible, realistic, and consistent, and used their testimony as the base for this decision.

En 2010, España modificó su Código Penal al promulgar el artículo 177 para prohibir la trata de personas. España lo hizo en respuesta a los acuerdos internacionales de derechos humanos relativos a la trata de personas. Esta sentencia fue la primera condena en virtud de este nuevo artículo. Dos mujeres informaron a las autoridades que los acusados las habían atraído desde Paraguay con falsas pretensiones, las obligaron a trabajar como prostitutas, y las agredieron física y emocionalmente. El Tribunal Provincial de Madrid determinó que las acciones de los demandados constituían: 1) delitos contra los derechos de los extranjeros (artículo 318 bis), 2) trata de personas con fines de explotación sexual (artículo 177 bis), 3) solicitud por coacción para cometer prostitución (artículo 188.1), y 4) agresión sexual (artículo 179). Según el tribunal, el hecho de que los acusados promovieron, alentaron o facilitaron la inmigración ilegal con la intención de utilizar a las mujeres para la prostitución fue suficiente para encontrar la explotación sexual criminal. El tribunal determinó que el testimonio de las víctimas era creíble, realista, y coherente, y utilizó su testimonio como base para esta decisión.

Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford Supreme Court of Canada (2013)

Employment discrimination

Three women challenged three Canadian Criminal Code provisions that indirectly restricted the practice of prostitution by criminalizing various related activities. Section 210, which prohibited the operation of common “bawdy-houses,” prevented prostitutes from offering their services out of fixed indoor locations such as brothels. Section 212, which prohibited “living off the avails” of prostitution, prevented anyone, including “pimps,” from profiting from another’s prostitution. Section 213, which prohibited “communicating” for the purpose of prostitution in public, prevented prostitutes from offering their services in public, particularly on the streets. On December 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously decided that all three laws were unconstitutional, reasoning that the laws infringe on sex worker’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by depriving them of “security of the person” in a way that is not in accordance with the “principles of fundamental justice.” Starting from the position that prostitution is legal in Canada, the Court declared that the three laws: “Do not merely impose conditions on how prostitutes operate. They go a critical step further, by imposing dangerous conditions on prostitution; they prevent people engaged in a risky – but legal – activity from taking steps to protect themselves from the risks.”

Ministerio Publico v. Jose Luis Castro Juzgado de Garantia de Antofagasta (Warranty Court), Antofagasta (2007)

Trafficking in persons

The defendant was charged with trafficking in persons. He was accused of recruiting Peruvian women to come to Chile, where they then were engaged in prostitution. The defendant used an employment agency in Peru to recruit the women, who signed labor contracts to serve as waitresses in the defendant’s premises. The women victims were forced to wear provocative clothing and drink alcohol with the premises’ clients. There also was prostitution at the premises. The defendant was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison.

Al acusado se le inculpó de trata de personas. Fue acusado de reclutar mujeres peruanas para venir a Chile, donde luego las forzaba a dedicarse a la prostitución. El acusado utilizó una agencia de empleo en Perú para contratar a las mujeres, quienes firmaron contratos laborales para servir como camareras en las instalaciones del acusado. Las mujeres víctimas fueron obligadas a llevar ropa provocativa y beber alcohol con los clientes del local. También hubo prostitución en el local. El acusado fue declarado culpable y condenado a seis años de prisión.

Kamau v. Republic High Court of Kenya at Nakuru (2004)

Sexual violence and rape

The appellant was convicted of rape and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment with hard labor and six strokes of a cane. The complainant testified that on the day of the incident, she met the appellant at a bar and agreed to spend the night with him for a sum of money. The appellant took her to a house where he and two colleagues raped the complainant all night in turns. The appellant testified at trial that they had an "arrangement" with the complainant and did not rape her. The complainant testified that she had withdrawn her consent before intercourse with the appellant and his co-perpetrators. The morning after, the complainant escaped the house to report the rapes to the police and received treatment for her injuries at a hospital. Ruling on the appeal, the High Court found that that the complainant withdrew her initial consent before the sexual act and that the appellant is guilty of rape. The Court also reduced the sentence to six years imprisonment and set aside the corporal punishment, which was outlawed by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2003.

U1991.534H Supreme Court of Denmark (1991)

Sexual violence and rape

The defendant was found guilty of multiple rapes and sentenced to five and a half years of imprisonment. He was found guilty of threatening his victims with a knife, hitting them, holding them in a stranglehold and threatening them with death. Four of his victims were prostitutes. The Supreme Court awarded compensation to two rape victims who had been denied such compensation by the High Court because they were prostitutes.

Lim Boon Tak et al. v. Public Prosecutor High Court of Brunei (1997)

Trafficking in persons

The Court reviewed a guilty verdict against defendants under the Women and Girls Protection Act and Passport Act for forcibly bringing two women into Brunei for the purposes of prostitution. The Court found that the Magistrate judge was did not err in relying on testimonial evidence if that evidence was found to be reliable.