Legal sex work in the Arab region
In addition to Tunisia, Algeria also has a handful of legal brothels, a vestige of its widespread sex industry during the colonial period. Less than 20 establishments are in operation across the country, compared with more than 170 when Algeria gained independence in 1962. These legacy brothels are quietly authorized by authorities and closely regulated in terms of public health and policing. Meanwhile, as in Tunisia, illegal sex work is flourishing. Lebanon has a similar “grey” area of authorized sex work, in so far as brothels can operate legally with a government license. However – the last license was issued almost four decades ago, a technicality which does little to deter Beirut’s lively sex trade.