Prostitution has been a business for as long as humans have been making deals. It has usually been relegated to the fringe of human behavior and as such is an interesting barometer to the health of any society. It can be punishable by death or merely tolerated, all the while being patronized by folks rich and poor.
The saddest thing about prostitution in most countries is the very fact that it is illegal and hidden. The result is that prostitutes become sick or enslaved all too often. While Europeans like to think of themselves as the richest or most comfortable or most civilized people in the world, it would do them well to consider the more "unacceptable" parts of society, and whether their forbidden existence leads to a healthier world, or a more dangerous one.