Haitian authorities say they have closed down at least 40 brothels and hotels since the launch of a campaign late last month to clamp down on such establishments.

Government Commissioner Danton Léger and Chief of the Port-au-Prince Public Prosecutor’s Office, say the campaign is against those establishments that do not comply with the law and do not respect the conditions and criteria of operation, including possession of a patent and a visible and explicit commercial plaque on the establishment, indicating their activities.

The authorities had on January 26 given the establishments a 48 hour ultimatum to correct the situation, but to date 41 of them have failed to do so including 30 between February 1-5.

Danton said that once the institutions had complied with the law, the Public Prosecutor’s Office could reconsider its decision and lift the seals. On the other hand, he is warning that he is prepared to prosecute all owners who do not comply with the law or refuse to comply.

He has also warned that the establishments where minors are believed to be engaged in prostitution are being investigated and that severe measures would be taken against the owners and customers of these establishments.

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