The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district.
The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals.
The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節).
Photo: Screen grab from Yen’s Facebook page
The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights.
A ban on the sex trade results in discrimination and makes it difficult for sex workers to secure labor insurance, the proposal says, adding that it results in a lack of information about sex workers’ health, and whether their clients are healthy and have treated them with dignity.
The proposal says that the sex trade does not exclusively refer to prostitution.
There are established red-light districts abroad that make a positive contribution to tourism, it says.
The Chiayi City Government should assess the viability of establishing such a district and draft regulations to protect clients and sex workers, as this would provide the city government with an alternative source of income, the proposal says.
Independent Chiayi City Councilor Huang Ssu-ting (黃思婷) said she signed the signature drive for the proposal, adding that the city government should assess whether such a proposal is viable and whether city residents support it.
New Power Party Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) said the city government should consult and respect public opinion regardless of the assessment’s results.
Chiayi Mayor Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) yesterday said that the city government would look into the legality of the proposal and consult the public.
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