Lebanese women flash the palm of their hands colored in red as they demonstrate against prostitution, sex slavery and violence against women in front of the Justice Palace in the capital Beirut on April 8, 2016. / AFP / PATRICK BAZ
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According to a study of 228 court cases published by the NGO Kafa, women who provide sexual services received similar sentences to their pimps, even when the exploitative relationship was evident.In 2011, an Anti-Trafficking Law was introduced to help protect those forced into prostitution by criminalizing exploitation in the sex industry and would exonerate victims of trafficking from criminal sanctions, if they were coerced into prostitution. She noted that the crackdown on the infamous Chez Maurice prostitution ring in April 2016 was significant for being one of the few instances in which the women involved in prostitution were not prosecuted.Some NGOs are currently stepping up their assistance to women in prostitution. Eleven men reported engaging in sexual acts with a woman who exhibited the marks of physical or sexual violence, while only one man refrained from engaging in sexual acts because of this.While there is agreement among NGOs that prostitutes should be treated as victims under the law, organizations diverge over whether legalizing prostitution would grant women greater protection.
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