The government approved the first measure governing the reform to protect victims of prostitution. 

The main aim of the new mechanism is to provide professional help to those who manage to get out of the vicious circle. 

At the end of the first phase of discussions, the government approved a proposal to provide specialised help to those serving a sentence in prison who were involved in prostitution at a period of their lives. 

The initiative came about following discussions between Parliamentary Secretary Julia Farrugia Portelli and the administration of Dar Ħosea, which focuses on victims of prostitution. 

The government said this is the first step to ensure victims of prostitution are no longer penalised but given the right help.

The Nationalist Party has applauded the government's initiative but said it was disappointed that once again the government had failed to consult the Opposition on such an important subject. 

An 'exit programme' for prostitution should be realistic and sustainable, the Opposition said in a statement. The dangers faced by vulnerable people in prostitution who have no choice, should be a priority. 

The PN said it was prepared to give its contribution to the reform in a drive to help the vulnerable and bring to justice those who exploit them. 

Read: Prostitution reform must protect victims, not prosecute them, experts say