Prostitution reform won't legalise pimps - Robert Abela

No brothels will be introduced, and pimps won't be legalised, said Robert Abela on the upcoming prostitution reform

Prime Minister Robert Abela reiterated government's stance on the new prostitution reform, whereby pimps and brothels will not be tolerated.

Speaking at a political activity on Sunday, Abela said that government will by no means introduce brothels or legalise pimps in the new prostitution reform

"When we spoke about the reform, we never said that we will introduce brothels or accept those living off the earnings of prostitution. If need be, we will not only keep fines in place but even increase fines," he said.

"Pimps won't be tolerated, and neither will any activity which will lead this country to be associated with brothels."

Abela mentioned a case involving a young girl who developed drug abuse issues at 12 years old, and later found herself in prostitution. "I don't believe that that is the remedy - we're icnarcerating someone who truly needed help."

He said that reform will be based on three principles: no brothels will be introduced, pimps won't be legalised with fines increased where necessary, and one must understand the realities of prostitution.

Cannabis White Paper in the coming days

Abela added that government will soon publish a White Paper on cannabis legalisation, which would no longer see cannabis users arrested for smoking a joint. 

The reform will stand on the main principle that someone found in possession of a small amount of cannabis won't be subject to criminal or judicial proceedings in front of a tribunal or drug court.

However, Abela asserted that this reform will in no way incentivise a culture of cannabis use.

"Central to this, we will try to kill the black market. [...] Trafficking will remain a crime, and fines will not be decreased."