Communicating for the purposes of selling sexual services in public places that are or are next to school grounds, playgrounds or day care centres is a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of 6 months imprisonment.However, purchasers of sexual services are always criminalized for their role in the prostitution transaction.It doesn’t matter whether payment is made by the person who receives the sexual service or by another person.
If the person who receives money for providing goods and services to a person who sells their own sexual services does not offer the goods or services to the general public, but the amount of money received reflects the value of the good or service provided, no offence is committed as long as the person who provided the goods or services does not encourage the other person to sell sexual services and there is no exploitation. The new laws do not prevent people who sell their own sexual services from interacting with others on the same basis as anyone else.
This means that the new laws do not prevent sellers from taking certain safety measures, should they continue to sell sexual services.
These safety measures include selling sexual services, whether independently or cooperatively, from fixed indoor locations, hiring legitimate bodyguards who do not engage in exploitative behaviour and negotiating safer conditions for the sale of sexual services in public places that are not near school grounds, playgrounds or day care centres.
A person convicted of purchasing sexual services from a person under the age of 18 years may be sentenced to up to 10 years imprisonment.
Mandatory minimum penalties of 6 months imprisonment for a first offence and one year for subsequent offences also apply.A person convicted of this new offence may be sentenced to up to 5 years imprisonment if prosecuted on indictment, and 18 months if prosecuted by summary conviction.