Prostitution policy: Criminalised to sell sex / legalised to buy sex

With legalising prostitution in Malta in 2020, could Parliamentary Secretary for Equality and Reforms Rosianne Cutajar and the Government of Malta be held accountable in the future, and where possible sued, by all future victims of sex trafficking?

If we compare Malta with the Netherlands (assuming the population would stay the same), within the next years the average number of sex trafficking victims in Malta could become:


Population: 457.267 (July 2020 est.)

794 prostituted persons
79 victims of domestic sex trafficking (35 girls)
34 victims of cross-border sex trafficking


Population: 17.280.397 (July 2020 est.)

30.000 prostituted persons
3.000 victims of domestic sex trafficking (1.320 girls)*
1.300 victims of cross-border sex trafficking*

* Nationaal Rapporteur
Victims of Human Trafficking. Periodical Report 2012-2016

Despite a coalition of 40 NGOs coming together in Malta calling for Nordic Model prostitution policy, for sex buying to be made a crime, Parliamentary Secretary for Equality and Reforms Rosianne Cutajar wants to legalise prostitution.

According to The Malta Independent, Rosianne Cutajar believes the New Zealand model of fully decriminalising prostitution is harmless.

Is Rosianne Cutajar aware of New Zealand having 5300 gang members, a group larger than the army?
Did she read reports of Ecpat New Zealand and PhD Natalie Thorburn, which show an alarming rise of domestic sex trafficking in New Zealand, especially of children and minors?
Did she read testimonies of New Zealand’s prostitution survivors?
The Netherlands, which has legalised prostitution since 2000, also shows a similar extreme rise of girls becoming victim of domestic sex trafficking.

Rosianne Cutajar has spoken regularly with three sex workers in Malta. Did she also speak with victims of sex trafficking?


Prostitution can never be normalised, coalition tells junior minister

Feb 10, 2021 – Coalition urges Rosianne Cutajar to rethink plans for prostitution reform

Nationalists want Nordic model for prostitution reform, not regularisation of sex buyers

Jan 23, 2021 – Metsola and Buttigieg on prostitution reform: “It should be clear that words such as ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’ do not apply to prostitution”.

Watch: Prostitution is not just another job – President Emeritus

Sep 8, 2020 – President Emeritus Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca on and 103 Malta’s Heart, speaks about the necessity of criminalising those who seek the services of prostitutes.

Prostitution reform committee proposals will turn Malta into sex tourism hub, coalition warns

Aug 31, 2020 – The Coalition on Human Trafficking and Prostitution has warned that the technical committee set up for prostitution reform is ‘devoid of experts’ and its proposals risk turning Malta into a sex tourism hub.

Decriminalisation of sex work: Technical committee report on the way to Cabinet

Aug 30, 2020 – The Prostitution Reform Technical Committee is in the initial stages of drafting a legal framework that aims to decriminalise sex work, Parliamentary Secretary for Equality and Reforms, Rosianne Cutajar, has told this newsroom.

‘If we legalise prostitution altogether we will give pimps a gift’– Anna Borg

Mar 4, 2020 – Borg was speaking on behalf of the 40 NGOs who have come together to submit a reform of human trafficking and prostitution, in favour of the Nordic model. The Nordic model decriminalises all those who are prostituted, provides support services to help them get out of prostitution and makes buying people for sex a criminal offence. “The Nordic model initially saves lives and shifts the power from the client to the women,” said Borg.

Borg said that once prostitution is legalised it will only increase the demand for prostitutes, and therefore increase human trafficking. “We cannot separate prostitution and human trafficking, as legalising sex work is expanding the sex industry, and we are seeing this happening in places like Spain and Holland.”

‘I have always made myself and my choices clear during committee meetings on prostitution’

Mar 4, 2020 – Whilst she said she does not wish to follow one particular model, Cutajar said that she preferred the way the New Zealand model works. This model regulates prostitution and has repealed all laws which criminalise sex workers. “There have been numerous studies which show that the New Zealand model works, and how it removes the stigma of sex workers and provides them to be able to work as equals and not alone.”

The New Zealand model decriminalises prostitution and safeguards the human rights of the sex worker and protects them from exploitation.

Cutajar explained that she wishes to remove the stigma sex workers face. “I know three sex workers who I speak regularly to, and they always inform me that they are too worried to go public about what they do because of the harsh stigma that we have on our island.”

Women’s groups not taken seriously’

Mar 3, 2020 – “We are told that the government wants to listen to women and push for equality but then a decision has been made without our acknowledgment,” explained lecturer and activist Anna Borg.

Prostitution: NGOs says ditching Nordic model ‘an insult to women’

Mar 2, 2020 – The core expert group whose proposal was endorsed by over forty organisations (including the vast majority of women’s organisations and academics who work in this field) are urging government not to rush with this decision, and to rely on experts who have significant knowledge of the consequences of inappropriate and inadequate laws to protect against human trafficking and exploitation. The full list of organisation, which includes international organisations like the Coalition Against Trafficking, is listed below.

An article which appeared on Lovin Malta on Sunday 1 March, mentions Robert Musumeci and Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando as being against the Nordic Model. The core group is hoping that Government will not rely on uninformed opinion, but respect the evidence-based conclusions drawn by civil society and all those who endorsed the proposal for the Nordic Model – which is based on evidence based research. The NGOs cannot understand how the Parliamentary Secretary arrived to this conclusion when the consultation process is ongoing and the NGOs are due to have a hearing on Wednesday 4th in the Social Affairs Committee in Parliament.

Sex Clients Won’t Be Criminalised Under Malta’s Planned Law As Reforms Secretary Ditches ‘Nordic Model’

Mar 1, 2020 – “One definite principle will be the decriminalization of prostitution (loitering) as regards the prostitute. The legal position of a client buying a sexual service will remain as it is today, i.e. the client would not be committing a crime. The reform should also introduce a programme to assist prostitutes with a background of social problems who end up in this circle.”

Prostitution, human trafficking have become normalised – Lara Dimitrijevic

Aug 11, 2019 – One factor, which Dimitrijevic says is evident from the women she has worked with and confirmed by research, is child sexual abuse. She explains that even as children, these women do not understand sexual boundaries, making them more susceptible.

Another reason that may drive women into prostitution is the fact that their family has always done it and it becomes a sort of family business. Poverty is another issue and some might consider it is easy money. Nevertheless, Dimitrijevic warns, prostitution should not be considered a job. “Should we consider it a job? Should we teach children how to become prostitutes? We teach children trades and professions.”

Peer pressure is another factor, Dimitrijevic notes. “Girls as young as 15 may be coerced into become prostitutes by their boyfriends, who eventually becoming their pimp.”

> Nordic Model / Equality Model prostitution policy
> Prostitution Policy in Sweden – targeting demand