GENEVA (September 10, 2013)--Lawmakers in Switzerland, where prostitution is legal, have agreed to outlaw anyone younger than 18 from practicing it.
The country’s lower house passed an amendment without opposition Tuesday to Swiss penal codes that would bring Switzerland into conformity with a Council of Europe convention aimed at protecting children from sexual exploitation.
It must be reconciled with the upper chamber, which approved a slightly different version.
Until now, the Swiss allowed prostitution by anyone who was at least 16, the age of sexual consent, although some cantons and cities set stricter rules.
Under the new law, encouraging prostitution by anyone under 18 is a criminal offense.
Pimps and managers of brothels or escort services that hire anyone under 18 could face as much as 10 years in prison.