Prostitution in the Dominican Republic: Essential Information for Travelers


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There is more to prostitution in Dominican Republic than just an exchange of money for a sexual relationship. It is often the case that these sex acts are more romantic in nature, and the women refer to their frequent clients as their lovers. The Dominican Republic has earned recognition as a major destination for international sex tourism, despite the fact that the operation is mostly concentrated in impoverished seaside towns such as Boca Chica, Las Terrenas, Sousa, and Cabarete, where ladies have less employment development than in the nation’s larger towns and cities. Haitian migrant workers are also involved in the sex tourism industry, with many prostitutes of Haitian heritage in various places.

Relationships and Prostitution in Dominican Republic

Prostitution in Dominican Republic had made sex relationships in the country more than simple sex, as the females do get cash gifts or assistance from their regular customers in return. Although the females have little to no control over their customers, they all look for a husband to help them improve their lives. Most of these women live in cramped homes with little room, sanitation, and technology.

Lighter Dominicans are preferred at sex tourism venues than darker Haitians, who are compelled to operate in the alleys or small pubs instead of the more profitable up-scale venues. Dominicans and tourists are typically the choices for the ladies, each with its own benefits and disadvantages. Dealing with Dominicans is less risky than working with tourists since they may maintain a low-income but secure lifestyle. Working with tourists and living outside of local bars affords them independence from the bar owners, but they are put under financial strain to make ends meet on their own.

Prostitution in Dominican Republic and Human Trafficking

The Dominican Republic is a Tier 2 nation, according to the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, which signifies that the government does not completely comply with the standards to stop trafficking. To go above and above the requirements outlined by the US Department of State, the Dominican Republic must be more active in its attempts to prosecute more traffickers. The Dominican Republic needs more training for police officers to handle human trafficking and work with street children prone to prostitution.

Women account for more than half of the servitude population worldwide in the illicit trafficking sector. Human trafficking in the Dominican Republic happens to women who have been severely abused while being sexually exploited. In the Dominican Republic, women and young girls are victims of crooked traffickers and unscrupulous bureaucrats who support illicit commerce and business.

To fight this, the Dominican Republic has put in place a national anti-trafficking strategy. The first was published in 2003, supported by a national strategy in 2006. Since then, the government has had some success in its efforts to deliver justice. For example, the Dominican Republic’s first appropriate penalty sentenced a trafficker to 25 years in jail.

The International Justice Mission to eliminate prostitution in Dominican Republic

The International Justice Mission (IJM) is a human rights and legal organisation. The institution’s objective is to end indentured servitude. IJM has effectively collaborated with Dominican authorities to serve peace to the nation. In uprooting the perpetrators from the neighbourhoods where they had operated, a sense of normality and security has returned. IJM enables attorneys to establish a case against traffickers based on survivor testimonials.

IJM helps victims of human trafficking by imposing restrictions on offenders and exposing them to Dominican authorities. It also promises to assist survivors in finding secure living locations. Survivors of such crimes are physically and mentally harmed. Long-term psychological ramifications of such injury show in the form of mental health difficulties. IJM has health, psychotherapy, and self-improvement treatment plans in place for government agencies and local groups.

Is prostitution in Dominican Republic legal?

According to the attorney general, people who force people into prostitution and clients of prostitutes will face prosecution in the Dominican Republic as part of a crackdown on sex trafficking. Prostitution has long been openly practised in much of the Dominican Republic, but sex trafficking for the prostitution industry, both within and outside the country, has become so widespread that the government feels it must now enforce restrictions upon the prostitution in Dominican Republic. 

Prostitutes, on the other side, are not being arrested since there is no law in the Dominican Republic that clearly prohibits the activity. However, it is unlawful to profit from another person’s sexual acts or to compel anyone to act as a prostitute. Those who engage in the assistance with prostitution may be charged with soliciting and face a prison sentence of 10 to 15 years, according to officials. So yet, no one has been arrested. It is uncertain how severely it will be implemented at this time in a country with a really overwhelmed court system and a long history of being a destination for those seeking the assistance of escorts.

How does prostitution in Dominican Republic lead to child sex tourism?

Due to poverty and/or escape harsh home settings, the number of teenage residents joining prostitution is increasing. According to the human rights group International Justice Mission, one in every four sex workers in the Dominican Republic is minor. Regrettably, many overseas people who pursue this evil activity escape unpunished since prostitution laws are widely ignored.

Despite the fact that many resorts have signed a code of conduct to prevent kids from being exploited on their property and openly advertise that bringing minors to their property is forbidden, the offence is most typically committed in private accommodations such as flats and loungers. Adolescents are still being exploited given the fact that there is no government regulation outside of commercial establishments. Though, having intercourse with a juvenile can result in up to 30 years in prison, as well as consequences in the visitor’s own country.

What travellers must know about prostitution in Dominican Republic?

  • As a visitor, you should be aware of a few things before visiting the Dominican Republic. Males can enter strip clubs and pay an ‘exit fee’ to the institution in order to transport a prostitute to their lodging. But beware: it’s not unusual for females to rob their customers.
  • Burglars may attempt to pickpocket males on the street. Be wary of sex workers who attempt to initiate long-distance relationships with travellers after they come home in the hopes of sustaining a revenue source.
  • Prostitutes will approach you if you are a male there without a lady in specific places of the town. If you are a lady, be ready to witness swindlers bartering and prostitutes persuading.
  • Although some tourists visit the Dominican Republic to buy sex, many hookers and hustlers believe that any visitor may be readily persuaded to do it as well. Visitors who aren’t intrigued by sex workers have reported getting hounded (often aggressively) by swindlers and hookers at all hours of the night.
  • If contacted by a prostitute, simply stating “Nope” and walking away should work.
  • Women travelling alone, in general, can anticipate Dominican males to be pushy in their pick-up approach. This sort of conduct is common at local taverns and nightclubs outside of tourist regions.
  • It is advised that you repel the attention boldly and decisively. Dressing cautiously may also be beneficial.


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