Rise in STDs from massage parlours consequence of government’s removal of licence requirement - PN

Government should regularise massage parlours immediately if it wants to fight human trafficking, Nationalist Party says

The need for massage parlour licenses was removed in 2016
The need for massage parlour licenses was removed in 2016

The increase in cases of venereal infections contracted after sexual encounters at massage parlours shows that the government’s decision to remove the need for licences for such establishments had been taken without consideration of its consequences, the Nationalist Party said.

In a statement issued on Sunday, PN MPs Claudette Buttigieg and Karol Aquilina stressed that the government should immediately take action to regularise massage parlours if it wanted to truly fight human trafficking, since statistics issued by the GU Clinic and reports in the media clearly indicated that such venues were being used for prostitution and the trafficking of people.

The party was reacting to reports in The Sunday Times of Malta that in the past two years over 500 men had been tested for sexually transmitted infection after visiting massage parlours, with most of them opting to take the tests after developing symptoms of venereal diseases.

“Faced with this reality, which Opposition MPs and a number of NGOs have already spoken about, the government cannot stand and do nothing to stop and fix the damage it has itself caused,” the PN said.

“Some of the massage parlours are used as brothels, and this fact goes completely against the campaign launched by the government itself to fight human trafficking. If the government really wants its campaign to fulfil its aims and to strengthen the protection of vulnerable people, it should immediately take action to regularise massage parlours in Malta,” it added.

In December 2016, legal amendments removed the need for a specific licence to operate massage parlours. By the end of that year, there were around 196 massage parlours around Malta and Gozo, but the removal of licensing requirements means that the total number of such establishments today is unknown.

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