The Legislative Yuan, which is currently in summer recess, has decided to hold public hearings during its next session on a controversial amendment that would allow the establishment of legal red-light areas in cities and counties in Taiwan, according to lawmakers.
At issue is a draft amendment to the Social Order and Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法) that would legalize prostitution in specially designated areas.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said the bill had been the subject of heated debate.
Some local governments have even suggested that the establishment of red-light districts runs against social mores and Taiwanese culture, he said.
The Executive Yuan adopted the amended bill on Thursday, which rules that those involved in the sex trade — including prostitutes and those who seek out their services — outside special designated red light areas would be liable for a fine of up to NT$30,000 (US$1,040).
The current law prohibits sex work as harmful to social norms of behavior and punishes only sex workers — mainly women — who are subject to a maximum of three days detention or a fine of up to NT$30,000.
However, those who solicit the services of a prostitute cannot be prosecuted.
Earlier this year, the Council of Grand Justices of the Constitutional Court ruled that existing regulations concerning prostitution violate the Constitution, and therefore ruled that they should be annulled, a ruling that takes effect on Nov. 1.
It was in response to the ruling that the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) proposed the amendment based on the human rights laid down in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, officials said.
Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said that the amendment would authorize local governments to set up special zones for legal brothels on land designated for commercial use in urban planning districts or for leisure activities in non-urban planning districts.
He said that once the draft bill cleared the legislature, local government administrators would handle the issue in a more pragmatic manner.
“After all, it is bad to see unlicensed prostitutes wandering around cities,” he said.
However, the proposal has received only a lukewarm response from local governments, with surveys conducted by local media suggesting almost all of the 22 cities and counties around Taiwan are not interested in establishing legal red light areas, because of concerns about the possible impact on social order.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus whip Chao Li-yun (趙麗雲) said further public debate on the provisions in the bill was necessary
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public