German politicians are pushing for its ban prostitutiontwo decades after it was legalised, amid stark warnings that the country is fast becoming the “bullshit of Europe”.
The centre-right Christian Democratic Party (CDU) is among those calling for the partial recriminalization of the sex trade, arguing that its legalization in 2002 failed in its aims to give sex workers more rights and recognition under German law.
The legalization of prostitution by a previous centre-left government aimed to give Germany’s 250,000 prostitutes today working rights, access to social benefits and the right to sue clients who refuse to pay for their services. However, leading politicians of the country argue that all of the above have ended on paper and have never been implemented.
Workers from abroad
As Dorothy Barr, deputy head of the parliamentary group of Germany’s two largest Christian Democratic parties, the CDU and the CSU, explains, at the moment almost all sex workers in the country come from abroad and are undocumented, and as therefore they are at the mercy of those who traffic people and sell protection.
“There can be no real equality as long as we accept that hundreds of thousands of women are treated like slaves. This is an offense against human dignity that must be stopped urgently,” she told Bild, cited by Daily Mail.
“Germany has become the whorehouse of Europe. Women are abused in the worst possible way by their clients and pimps,” she warned.
The Scandinavian model
The CDU, Germany’s opposition party, wants to adopt the so-called Nordic model, under which customers can be prosecuted for buying sex, but sex workers are not punished. This measure was first implemented by Sweden in 1999. After a special committee appointed by the government on the effects of the partial decriminalization of sex work, which found that between 1999 and 2008 street prostitution was halved .
Shortly thereafter, a number of countries, including Norway, Iceland, Canada and Northern Ireland, adopted some form of Nordic-style legislation to partially decriminalize sex work. The CDU’s proposed legislation would close brothels and outlaw the renting of apartments to prostitutes. These measures, Barr argues, will reduce but not eliminate the relevant profession from the country.
It should be noted that the proposal is gaining ground in Germany’s ruling party, the Social Democrats. In fact, SD MP Leni Bremeyer called the opposition’s proposal “a step in the right direction”, while the chancellor himself, Olaf Solz, said last week that he had always been morally outraged by men buying sex. . However, Germany’s minister for family affairs, the elderly, women and youth made it clear that there are no plans to change the current laws.