Greece

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NSWP has published seven national case studies on how laws actually work on the streets, you can access the Greece case study below:

How Sex Work Laws are Implemented on the Ground and Their Impact on Sex Workers: Greece Case Study

Is selling sex criminalised?: 

Sex work is technically legal in Greece although subject to a raft of regulations that mean lots of sex workers effectively working illegally. The requirements to work legally are that you a) are registered and have a professional certificate, b) undergo medical exams every 2 weeks, c) work in a licensed brothel. Working on the street is also illegal, and laws also prohibit married women from working legally as sex workers.

Is buying sex criminalised?: 

No

Is organising/managing criminalised?: 

Organising is technically legal and it is possible to operate a licensed brothel. Many brothels however cannot meet the requirements and so operate illegally. Brothels are not allowed within 200 metres from public buildings (schools, churches, playgrounds, health clinics and hospitals, sport centres, libraries, nursing homes, etc), which makes it very difficult to have state licensed brothels in urban areas. The licensed sector is small compared to overall sex market. The law prohibits sex workers from working together outside of licensed brothels, and prohibits more than one license per building. The use of an apartment for prostitution requires the consent of all the residents and the owners of the rest of the apartments. Finally, any staff working in a brothel must be older than 50 years old and must undergo mandatory medical testing to work legally.

Is there mandatory HIV/STI testing?: 

Yes. Sex workers are granted permits for a maximum of 3 years, and these require a number of legal and medical documents (including HIV test results and chest X-rays). Sex workers must undergo testing for STIs every 15 days, every month for syphilis and for HIV every 3 months, and carry a health card.

Is there mandatory registration?: 

Yes to work illegally must register and obtain a professional certificate.

If sex work is regulated, is it in line with other work, or are the regulations unfair or overly restrictive?: 

No - very onerous regulations

Is sex work recognised as work?: 

No

Is sex work decriminalised with limited regulation?: 

No

Contact: 
If you have something to add, please email communications@nswp.org