Prostitution in Malta (a brief idiot’s guide)

No I am not about to list the best way to go about obtaining sexual favours at a price in Malta. I honestly would have no clue how to go about it although I am familiar with the popular locations from Maltese lore where Malta’s equivalent of the Trastevere species would prowl in search for clients. Nope this is not it. Think of this as a sort of factoid collection centred around the oldest profession in the world and how it is regulated in Malta (or isn’t). And the basic, mind blowing premise is this: PROSTITUTION IS NOT ILLEGAL IN MALTA.

Yes. Contrary to public perception, there is nothing in the Criminal Code or elsewhere for that matter that prohibits me, you or anyone from earning a bit of money by performing sexual favours in return of a proportionate (or cut-price for that matter) remuneration. Really? Really. So where do the problems with the law start. Let me tell you where…

1. The Criminal Code

Take the criminal code - a simple CTRL + F of the term prostitution will lead you to two interesting discoveries. First that “prostitution” is never defined. Secondly whenever the term prostitution is used it is within the context of preventing someone (whether a minor or an adult) from being forced violently or through deceit into prostitution. Basically you CAN be a prostitute but ONLY if you choose to be one out of your own free will. The biblical profession is legal. And that my friends is a fact.

2. So what is illegal?

Most crimes linked to prostitution relate mostly to exploitation. Thus any form of what is called “White Slave Traffic” is a crime. It is linked to what I said earlier. You can never oblige someone to become a prostitute or deceive someone into becoming one. It is definitely a crime to live off the profits of other people’s prostitution (the vernacular “pimp” – the Roman Law crime of “lenocinium”). Interestingly one of the civil law conditions that is an automatic ground for the termination of rent is the use of the rental property for the purposes of prostitution (article 1618 of the Civil Code). Another civil law consequence of prostitution is the possibility to disinherit a descendant if he or she is a prostitute “without the connivance of the testator” (article 623).

A person who is soliciting for prostitution – or prowling the public side walks for clients is susceptible to being charged with a contravention of disturbing the public peace. The reason behind such a contravention would probably be – to put it bluntly – that you are free to dispose of your body as you choose and satisfy as many people as you like in return of payment as much as you want BUT don’t do it in our face. Don’t forget that other contraventions under our criminal code include such things as the prohibition to lead an idle and vagrant life, the prohibition of pretending to be a diviner of dreams,  and the prohibition of driving animals (whether beasts of burden or riding animals) over a drawbridge otherwise than at an amble (you’ve gotta love those speed cameras).

There’s the general low down on all things prostitute. All the usual disclaimers of this blog apply including any exclusion of liability should anyone wrongly choose to rely on this content as though it were the bible truth.