State plans to raise age limit for prostitutes

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According to an Interior Ministry plan, it will not be allowed to buy sex from people aged below 25 starting 2020, reports Latvian Radio. 

"All the available research over people's maturity says that people become mature, with the power to judge and make well-informed decisions about their lives, what they want to do and how they want to live, at the age of 23 to 25 years," says ministry representative Lāsma Stabiņa.

Latvia will also offer social programs for people buying prostitution, following the example of Sweden. 

"Why do people buy sexual services? Evidently they have their own problems driving them to that. The duty of the state is not only to punish these people but also help them," says Stabiņa. 

Participating in the program will not be mandatory however, she says.

Latvia's official state bulletin lists a number of changes that the new law introduces, including mandatory use of condoms; misdemeanor charges for buyers of sex should it take place where it's not allowed; and also asks both buyers and sellers of sex to undergo regular medical examinations. 

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