Prostitution in Jordan is technically illegal,[1][2] but in practice, tolerated, with authorities turning a blind eye to the act.[3] Prostitution occurs mainly in the larger cities[3] in their poor neighbourhoods.[4] It occurs in brothels, restaurants,[1] night clubs and on the streets.[3] The prostitutes are mainly from Russia, Ukraine, the Philippines, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, Iraq as well as Jordanians.[3]

Red-light districts are rare in the country, although most cities have "cruising areas".[5] In the neighborhood of Jubaiha (al-jubaiha:الجبيهة), in the capital, Amman, one of the major streets has been commonly called "Tallaini Street" meaning "the pick me up street". Local residents have tried to stop prostitution in the area.[6]

In 2007, in an attempt to limit the number of prostitutes in Jordan, Jordan's Ministry of Interior announced a special visa scheme for women aged 17–40 travelling alone from Ukraine, Estonia, Russia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Armenia. Protests from the tourist industry resulted in the scheme being withdrawn.[7]

Jordan is known for sex tourism within the Middle East.[8][9][10] Instances of female sex tourism with Bedouin men have been reported at tourist sites in the Jordanian desert.[11]

Some Syrian refugees in Jordan have been reported to be working as prostitutes,[12][13][14][15][16][17] including in the Zaatari refugee camp.[4]

Sex trafficking

See also: Human trafficking in Jordan

Jordan is a source and destination country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking. Trafficking victims in Jordan are primarily from South and Southeast Asia, East Africa, Egypt, and Syria. Syrian refugees in Jordan continue to be highly vulnerable to trafficking. There have been reported cases of Syrian refugee women and girls sold into "temporary" or forced marriages to Jordanians and men from the Persian Gulf for the purpose of forced commercial sex. For example, in 2016 the government reported a case involving three Syrian girls and one Syrian woman who were forced by their father into temporary marriages—for the purpose of sexual exploitation—with a national from Saudi Arabia. Syrian, Lebanese, North African, and Eastern European women may be forced into prostitution after migrating to Jordan to work in restaurants and nightclubs; some Jordanian women working in nightclubs may also be forced into prostitution. As reported by an NGO in 2016, some Egyptian women are forced into prostitution by their Jordanian husbands. Some out-of-status domestic workers from Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have been reportedly forced into prostitution after fleeing their employers.[18]

The 2009 anti-human trafficking law criminalizes all forms of sex and labor trafficking. Penalties for sex trafficking and forced labor of adults are a minimum of six months imprisonment and/or a fine ranging from 1,000-5,000 Jordanian Dinars ($1,410-$7,060).[18]

The United States Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons ranks Jordan as a 'Tier 2' country.[18]


  1. ^ a b "The Legal Status of Prostitution by Country". ChartsBin. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Sex Work Law - Countries". Sexuality, Poverty and Law. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Shuqum, Raied T. (7 August 2015). "Jordan deals with different faces of human trafficking". Arab Weekly. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Desperate, some fleeing Syria turn to prostitution in Jordan". Ahram Online. 9 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  5. ^ Halaby, Jamal (9 March 2013). "In Jordan, desperate Syrian refugees turn to prostitution". Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  6. ^ "موقع خبرني : حملة شعبية لتطهير شارع "طلّعني" من بائعات الهوى" [A popular campaign to clear the street of prostitutes]. موقع خبرني [Khaberni] (in Arabic). 3 March 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Jordan backtracks on decision to forbid single women from entering the country". The Travel Magazine. 8 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  8. ^ "One night in Amman". Inside Story. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  9. ^ "The Trade: Sex Work In Jordan". Jo. Archived from the original on 2 May 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
  10. ^ "Jordan : Jordan's Underground Prostitution Industry". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  11. ^ "The Jordanian desert's other delight: sex tourism". Global Post. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  12. ^ "Syrian refugees: Women in Jordan 'sexually exploited'". BBC News. 29 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Jordan: Okay, Single women allowed in". The Travel Magazine. 8 March 2007. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  14. ^ Harper, Lee (24 January 2014). "Syrian women in Jordan at risk of sexual exploitation at refugee camps". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Jordan deals with different faces of human trafficking". The Arab Weekly. 8 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Desperate, some fleeing Syria turn to prostitution in Jordan". Ahram Online. 9 March 2013.
  17. ^ "Prostitution in the Arab World: A Legal Study of Arab Legislation - Global Commission on HIV and the Law". Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  18. ^ a b c "Jordan 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report". U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.