YEREVAN. – There are 240 officially registered prostitutes in Armenia. This number was 217 last year, and 257 in the year before that, Police Senior Inspector Ara Srapyan informed during a press conference on Saturday.   

He noted that there are three types of prostitutes in Armenia. Those who work the streets; those—including foreigners—who work in bars and night clubs; and the “elite” prostitutes.     

In Srapyan’s words, the number of prostitutes in Armenia has remained virtually the same, and there are no minors among them. The majority of the prostitutes who are registered at the Police are divorced; some have kids as well. Also, there are married prostitutes whose husbands usually push them into prostitution to make money.  

According to Ara Srapyan, prostitution is a risky occupation, and 160 prostitutes—who were taken to police stations this year—were suffering from a variety of illnesses. 

When the officers of the law detain prostitutes, they merely fine them because prostitution is considered solely an administrative misdemeanor in Armenia.

Srapyan informed that the “ordinary” prostitutes’ “services” in Armenia start from AMD 1,000-2,000 and reach all the way to AMD 20,000—in line with the current exchange rate, US$ 1 is equivalent to approximately AMD 406. The “elite” prostitutes, on the other hand, usually charge $500-$1,000.    

As per Srapyan, Armenia’s police also carry out prophylactic activities with prostitutes, they conduct explanatory work with them, try to prevent them from resorting to this step, and even help them in finding jobs. 

The Police senior inspector noted that there is a global trend to legalize prostitution, but this will not be the case in Armenia because prostitution is a national security matter in the country. “They are those women and girls who need to discipline children, raise a nation,” Ara Srapyan said.

He added that there are two prevalent views in Armenia with respect to prostitution. Some believe it is a societal phenomenon while others think it is an anthropological occurrence. But in Srapyan’s view, prostitution is a coexistence of both phenomena.         

Ara Srapyan informed that there are male prostitutes in Armenia as well.