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4th July
2009
  

Come Again?...


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Cheap rates for working girls are held to be disrespectful

Germany flag A mayor in the state of Baden-Württemberg has started an initiative to outlaw so-called flat-rate bordellos.

The plan was announced in an interview with Christoph Palm of the Christian Democrat party and mayor of the town Fellbach, near Stuttgart.

Social Democrat representative Katrin Altpeter has lent her support to the plan. The state must intervene quickly to ban arrangements that do not respect human dignity, she said.

The Pussyclub bordello opened in Fellbach on June 5 offering a flat-rate deal for sex. Customers pay between 70 and 100 to patronise prostitutes as often as they like in a single visit.

The low price raises the suspicion that the women are being exploited, Palm told SWR4.

 

29th July
2009
  

Update: Come Again?...


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All in brothel rate for food, drinks and several girls winds up the German authorities

Pussycat Club logo Police and law officials have raided German bordellos under suspicion of social security fraud, among others. They have been trying to stop the flat-rate fee system in brothels, arguing that it violates prostitutes' dignity.

While the global recession has hit the financial sector, the export industry, and car companies, it has also been felt in the world's oldest business sector - prostitution.

One such way which has made headlines in Germany is the flat-rate fee system, offered by at least four brothels in Germany, where prostitution is legal.

The Pussy Club chain offers such a flat rate, which entitles customers to unlimited sexual services all day for a one-off entry fee of 70 euros ($100).

But the new discount scheme has triggered a wave of protests, especially in the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Authorities there are now trying to shut down the brothels, arguing the new pricing plan violates the human dignity of the women working there.

Baden-Wuerttemberg Justice Minister Ulrich Goll told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine that there was a strong enough legal justification for police and authorities to intervene: If you look at the way these brothels advertise, then there's a violation of the human dignity of the prostitutes who work there, he said, adding that authorities were working on a way to stop the brothels from operating the way they do under that current fee system.

On Sunday, police and justice officials searched brothels using the plan in Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Schoenefeld near Berlin and Wuppertal. They say they suspect the bordellos of social security fraud, employing foreign prostitutes without permission and not maintaining hygiene standards.

The brothels' advertising slogan has a simple message: Sex with all women, as long as you want, as often as you want. For 70 euros customers are entitled to all the sex, food and drink they want between 10 am and 4 pm. The evening flat rate rises to 100 euros.

The operator of the Pussy Club brothels, Patricia Floreiu, defended the new pricing scheme, arguing that most customers leave after one or two sessions and that none of the women are forced into the working under the new terms: It simply brings in more customers. Hardly anyone can 'do it' more than twice. So basically the flat rate is mostly for the free beer, she says.

Two of the brothels, in Stuttgart and Heidelberg, were ordered closed after health inspectors said they might spread disease. The raids also targeted franchises in Berlin and the city of Wuppertal, but those brothels remained open.

 

6th February
2010
  

Update: Traffic Cops...


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German police raid 600 brothels

Germany flagGerman police raided about 600 brothels in 13 states Tuesday night targeting human trafficking from West Africa.

The Federal Criminal Police Office said Wednesday that it was interviewing more than 100 women from different West African countries who were forced to work as prostitutes, some of them minors.

Tuesday's raids follow an investigation of several years. Only if we manage to win the trust of victims and persuade them to cooperate with the authorities can we break the cycle of repression, intimidation and dependency, said federal police chief Joerg Ziercke in Wiesbaden.

 

23rd April
2013

 Update: Fun in Germany...

German government is close to enacting new restrictions on brothels

Germany flagGermany's center-right governing coalition has agreed to enact restrictions on sex work in the country.

Members of the coalition -- made up of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) -- say that an agreement over an appropriate set of regulations has nearly been reached.

Prostitution is legal in Germany, but the coalition plans to toughen criminal penalties against human trafficking and more strictly restrict the commercial activities of brothels.

In future, brothel operators will need special authorization to open such an establishment. Moreover, authorities will be required to enforce hygienic standards and operators will be screened for prior criminal offences.

There is still resistance, however, from Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP), who wants to prevent harsher criminal laws in the sex industry.

 

12th June
2013

 Update: Sex Made in Germany...

TV documentary shows that legalisation has made for a booming sex industry

sex made in germany videoA new documentary has revealed how making prostitution legal in Germany has created a booming industry.

Show on public broadcaster ARD, Sex -- Made in Germany shook up the country's normally mundane Monday television offerings, examining the subject of prostitution just over ten years after it became legal in Germany.

The film, which frequently used hidden cameras at red light establishments, did not quite show a total success story. Two years of interviews, brothel visits and undercover reporting showed an industry flourishing -- but one in which women have become a resource, which are being used as efficiently as possible, (just like any business).

Over a million men pay for sex each day in Germany. Many of these now visit flat-rate brothels where men can paid a mere EUR49 for a night of as much sex as they can muster. These have become an increasingly popular business model in Berlin where sex is cheaper than anywhere else, a brothel owner told the journalists.

So popular are the country's cut-price offerings, that specialist holiday operators now offer tailored sex-holidays for groups of men from Asian, the Middle East and North America. They are taken around brothels for six straight days of drunken fun. Guests also travel from closer afield, with one Danish man explaining that the quality is good and everything is alright.

The reporters also visited Europe's biggest brothel in Stuttgart, where 55,000 men came in and out of its doors each year. Many of the women there are not German though, as 65% working in the country are foreign, often from eastern European countries Like Romania and Bulgaria. Some were homegrown though, with one prostitute admitting that lots of girls who are taking their high school diploma come and work for a day or two over the weekend to earn a bit of money, because they no longer see it as something bad.

The film touched on several cases where eastern European women had come to Germany for a better life, which wasn't to be. One Romanian woman, found herself having sex with up to 40 men a day until, eventually, authorities shut the business down for violating health codes.

What the government does seem to be profiting from since legalizing prostitution though, is the tax it generates. Even street walkers have to pay special sex work tax es.

 

20th November
2013

 Update: A Paradise for Gender Extremists...

Campaigners seek an end to legal prostitution in Germany

alice schwarzer A decade after Germany loosened already relaxed restrictions on prostitution, campaigners are seeking to ban the trade, with leading feminist Alice Schwarzer labeling the country a paradise for pimps.

Dozens of politicians, actors and journalists this month have signed Schwarzer's appeal to Chancellor Angela Merkel and parliament to ban sex work. She said:

Germany tolerates, accepts and promotes prostitution, mostly at the expense of the poorest women from neighboring countries.

She urged a review of the 2002 law that theoretically gave sex workers access to unemployment insurance, controlled working conditions and medical coverage. She claimed that the law backfired and has turned Germany into a paradise for pimps who can now more easily exploit women, especially from poorer central European countries like Romania and Bulgaria. She added that the liberalization of prostitution has been a disaster for the people involved, estimating the number of prostitutes working in Germany now at 700,000.

In a 2007 report, the government conceded that the outcome had been disappointing and the legal change did not actually improve the welfare of prostitutes. The study found only 1% of prostitutes had an employment contract. However even treading water is an improvement saving at least the arrests, jailings, ruined lives and policing costs associated with prohibition.

Schwarzer of course cited sex trafficking and slavery but National police data shows that reported cases of human trafficking have been on the decline since the introduction of the new law, from 811 in 2002 to 432 in 2011.

The renewed calls to ban prostitution have now made it onto the agenda of ongoing coalition talks between Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats.

Undine de Riviere, a sex worker and spokeswoman for a professional union of suppliers of sexual and erotic services, is part of the opposition. She told the Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung:

Feminists do not think we can speak for ourselves. The desire to control sexuality and prostitution has always been great and very difficult to get out of people's heads.

 

3rd December
2013

 Update: No Fun in Germany...

Flat rate brothel deals become popular in Germany so miserable politicians want to spoil the party
Germany flag Germany's biggest political parties have agreed to ban so-called flat-rate sex offered by some brothels in the country.

The move is part of a clampdown on Germany's booming prostitution industry that has been doing very well since a 2002 law legalized sex work. Deals are offered in some brothels for men to have have unlimited sex for 100 euros.

Anja Strieder, spokeswoman for the centre-left Social Democrats, confirmed a report by Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that a ban was agreed during coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Union bloc.

She said better protection for victims of enforced prostitution and stricter rules for brothel operators will also be included in a bill that could be introduced once the government is formally appointed.

 

6th December
2013

 Update: Cross Border Sex Trade...

German mega-brothel is keenly anticipating the criminalisation of sex buyers in nearby France
saarbrucken The German town of Saarbrucken near the French border is developing as a thriving location for the sex trade.

The city has 170,000 residents and a population of over 1,000 call girls with a steady influx East Europeans joining the sex trade, often to escape poverty at home.

Early next year their numbers will swell even further with the opening of a new EUR4.5m 6,000sq-metre mega brothel in Saarbrucken's Burbach district. It will employ 90 full-time sex workers and be run by a permanent staff of 45. The establishment has been described as one of the largest brothels in Europe.

Local authorities bemoan the fact that they have virtually no power to halt the expansion of the city's already booming sex industry, but two factors have combined to create Saarbru cken's seemingly unstoppable sex trade boom.

The first is what was once hailed as an enlightened German government decision to liberalise what were considered to be outdated and repressive laws governing prostitution and the sex trade. Back in 2001, under Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, Germany's governing Social Democrat-Green coalition tried to make prostitution a job like any other by passing laws that gave call girls full rights to health insurance, pensions and other benefits provided they paid the requisite taxes.

The second factor that has contributed to the boom in the sex trade is the city's proximity to the French cities of Strassbourg, Nancy and Metz, where the legality of prostitution is a grey area, and soon to get worse with heavy fines for those caught buying sex.

Paradise Island Entertainment, which is behind the city's new mega-brothel project, said it chose the city precisely because of its proximity to France.

 

8th March
2014

 Offsite Article: Paradise in Germany...

paradise oriental nachtWhen Germany legalised prostitution in 2002 it triggered unstoppable growth in the country's sex industry. It's now worth 15 billion euros a year and embraces everything from 12-storey mega-brothels to outdoor sex boxes.

See article from s.telegraph.co.uk

 

24th August
2014

 Update: Flatly Repressive...

German politicians seek to force sex workers to register, impose a minimum age of 21, and ban flat rate pricing
Germany flag The ruling coalition of Conservatives and Social Democrats in Germany has agreed on restrictions to the Prostitution Act of 2002.

In the future, sex workers will have to register with the authorities, the owners of brothels will have to submit to reliability checks, and flat rate sex and gang bang parties are going to be outlawed.

Manuela Schwesig , Federal Minister for Family Affairs (Social Democrats), declared that the new regulations meant that for the first time, there would be clear rules for legal prostitution in Germany that will protect the women .

Social Democrats (SPD) and Conservatives (CDU/CSU) still negotiate on other items, including a minimum age for sex workers of 21. Conservatives want to raise the minimum age for sex workers from 18 to 21.

A law demanding mandatory registration would harm the women, criticised Fabienne Freymadl, political spokeswoman of the Professional Organisation for Erotic and Sexual Services (BesD) , where sex workers in Germany are organised{

Especially sex workers who work on a part-time basis do not want to register due to the risk that their data may be passed on to third parties and women could be outed for their stigmatised professionl. If women experienced assaults, they could henceforward not report them to the police anymore, if they weren't registered with the authorities.

The BesD is also critical of the planned statutory permission requirements and reliability checks for brothel owners. According to the new regulations, brothel owners with criminal records can be barred from operating brothels. However, an exemption from the statutory permission requirements is planned, if individual persons sell sex in private apartments. Freymadl said:

Outlawing flat rate sex and so-called gang bang parties showed how moralising the debate actually was. Outlawing certain business models and practices, which the public perceived as particularly demeaning, contributed nothing to fight forced prostitution , since criminals wouldn't heed such bans anyway.

 

The remaining points of contention regarding the reform of the prostitution law are to be clarified in the early fall. The plan of the Conservatives to punish customers of forced prostitutes remains controversial. Critics fear that even less customers would then provide tip-offs to the police about forced prostitution , should they involuntarily encounter such women.

 

12th August
2015

 Update: Streets paved with gold...

Court bans sex workers from the streets of Dortmund citing that the trade has become to popular
Germany flag An administrative court in Dortmund, northwest Germany has banned practising the oldest profession on the territory of the city as the number of sex workers, mostly from Bulgaria and Romania, has tripled.

Prior to the EU expansion of 2007 there were about 60 sex workers on the streets of Dortmund, but with the entry of Bulgaria and Romania, the numbers swelled to 500 in the first year and 700 a year later.

 

4th December
2015

 Offsite Article: A new prostitution law will harm sex workers...

Germany flagMoves to reform Germany's prostitution laws are based on bad information and don't have sex workers' best interests at heart, argues expert Sonja Dolinsek.

See article from thelocal.de

 

20th February
2016

 Update: Job Protection...

Germany proposes law requiring registration for sex workers and mandatory condom use

Germany flag Germany is considering a new law that will require men to wear condoms during sex with sex workers.

Under the proposed law, sex workers would be required to register and meet regularly with government health counselors. The law would also ban sex workers from living in the rooms where they work.

The proposed law could enter into force on July 1, 2017, said a spokesman for women's affairs in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.

The Global Network of Sex Worker Projects' (NSWP) Regional Correspondent in Europe gathered together comments from sex workers. PG from Hydra said:

It is a bad sign, she said, this law won't protect sex workers. It is just about control. This new law comes in one package with forced registration and health 'counselling'.

According to PG, a similar law is already in place in Bavaria. Sex workers there have to register and condom usage is mandatory. Bavarian police are sending fake clients to sex workers asking for unprotected sex and if the sex worker agrees, they will be punished.

Germany legalised sex work in 2002. Under current laws, sex workers can collect public unemployment insurance and medical coverage.

Obligatory condom usage is implemented in New Zealand as well, where everyone should use a condom and/or dental dam for vaginal, oral and anal sex.

 

24th September
2016

 Update: Licensed to stigmatise...

Germany passes new law to mandate condoms for sex with prostitutes
deutscher bundestag logo Germany has approved a new law that makes it illegal to have sex with prostitutes without using a condom.

According to a report in the Independent, brothel owners will now be expected to make their customers aware of the new law and inform them that unprotected sex will be banned.

The law has been approved by Bundesrat, Germany's upper house of Parliament. It will now be sent to President Joachim Gauck for his approval. The law will come into force on July 1, 2017,

The new law will also make licensing mandatory for all brothels so that they would comply with all rules and meet legal standards.

Sex wrkers will also be expected to register with the local police who will issue certificates that would require a renewal every two years. The sex workers will also be required to attend a health advice session once in a year.

Those violating the law, including sex workers, pimps, buyers or brothel owners, could face fines from 1,000 to 50,000. Brothel owners could also be stripped off their license.

 

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