The Malta Independent 22 October 2020, Thursday

We need to see how we can help people get out of prostitution: PM on sex work reform

Wednesday, 2 September 2020, 18:08 Last update: about 3 months ago

The concept is not to entice people to go into prostitution but to see how we can help people get out of prostitution safely, Prime Minister Robert Abela told The Malta Independent on Wednesday.

“This is a social issue and a very important reform. It is not about enticing people to go into prostitution but to see how we can help those people get out of prostitution and to ensure that these people are not thrown in jail for something so sensitive, I do not believe it is the right thing.”


This newsroom asked Abela for his opinion regarding the prostitution reform technical committee, which is now in the initial stages of drafting a legal framework that will decriminalise sex work.

This is not the first time that Abela has spoken about decriminalisation, where previously he highlighted that prostitution should not remain a criminal offence.

He mentioned that he once worked on a case of a woman and mother who was given two sentences in one day, one of them being a nine-month prison term.

“This woman only knew this type of life, and I do not agree that this mother was treated in this way and sentenced to prison,” said Abela. He said that the reform is an important one and that the discussions are not about opening brothels or opening a new industry, but is an important social issue.

On Wednesday, the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE) stated that decriminalising prostitution should include the penalisation of sex-buying. 

A coalition of over 40 NGOs involved in this sector have voiced their disappointment that no one of the committee has appeared to have formed part of the committee or have been asked for their expertise.

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