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Cablegate: Czech Parliament Again Rejects Legalization Of

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. The lower house of the Czech Parliament has rejected a
bill that would have paved the way for the legal regulation
of prostitution in the Czech Republic. The proposal would
have permitted the GOCR to withdraw from the International
Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and
the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. Withdrawal
from the convention is a precondition to a bill legalizing
and regulating prostitution, which repeated governments have
tried to advance. The proposal enjoyed the support of the
Social Democrat-led government. Prostitution in the Czech
Republic is currently unregulated and it is neither
explicitly proscribed nor permitted. Both pimping and
trafficking in persons for the purpose of prostitution,
however, are illegal under Czech law.

2. The proposal failed by a vote of 64-26 in the Chamber of
Deputies with
only 90 of the 200 members of the body even voting on the
measure. Opposition
to the plan united both conservative and left-wing parties,
as the Christian
Democrats, a junior member of the ruling coalition, broke
ranks with the
government and joined opposition Civic Democrats, and the
Communist Party to
defeat the bill. Asked one Christian Democrat Deputy during
the debate, "Do we
really want Prague to turn into one huge European brothel?"

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3. This is the second time this year Parliament has rejected
the government proposal
(reftel). Observers predict that the government will not try
again prior to
elections scheduled for next June.

4. COMMENT. Though clearly a positive development, the defeat
of legalized
prostitution still leaves the sex trade in a highly ambiguous
position in a
country where trafficking in persons remains a problem.
Although the Czechs are
clearly unwilling to legalize prostitution, there is also
little will to adopt
more stringent steps to criminalize the practice. END COMMENT


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