Fri, May 24 2013
Legalising prostitution in Bulgaria might mean that the state would gain income through taxes, but would harm the fight against trafficking of women, the country's Prosecutor-General Boris Velchev has told a conference in Sofia.
The conference, on October 5 at the capital city's National Palace of Culture, was entitled Legal and Institutional Mechanisms for Combating Trafficking of Women. It was attended by senior government figures, representatives of NGOs and diplomats.
Velchev said that he considered prostitution a form of exploitation of people that he found unacceptable.
He said that the issue was whether there should be a law on prostitution that would regulate or even legalise the profession. If we would make such a law, he said, and the state would gain income from this through taxes, this would harm the fight against trafficking of women.
According to Velchev, Bulgaria had good legislation on fighting trafficking of women and prosecutions were proceeding relatively effectively, though the problem still existed. Velchev emphasised the importance of prevention.
Interior Minster Roumen Petkov said that three issues were important in the fight against the trafficking of women. The first was prevention, which he said was not possible without the help of the media and NGO's.
The second issue, according to Petkov, was the effectiveness of the fight against trafficking of women, and the third was the methodology used by authorities in the fight.
Petkov said that currently police could only detain prostitutes for 24 hours and had to release them after that period expired.
Current Bulgarian law provides no legal definition of prostitution, meaning in effect that there can be no prosecution for being a prostitute. Pimping is forbidden by law, but convictions are difficult to secure.
Prostitution should be punishable as a crime, Petkov told the conference.
Operation began on August 19 2009 and is directed mainly against pimps and their networks, and will continue until streets are cleared of sex workers, Bulgarian National Television says.
The funding is provided under the foreign military sales programme of the US army's Program Executive Office of Simulation, Training and Instrumentation.
The UK nationals were arrested after throwing beer bottles at people after being refused entry to a restaurant that had closed for the night.
Restoration and development projects include Madara Horseman, Arbanassi fortress, Magura cave.
Simeon Saxe-Coburg and his spouse Margarita opened a new heating and insulation system at the Tsar Ferdinand Hospital for Pulmonary Diseases in Iskrets, a project implemented thanks to the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Sofia and the Nando Peretti Foundation.
According to the law's provisions, the commission will have the power to investigate individuals without prior notification and would not require a criminal conviction in order to launch an investigation.