Prostitution in Germany: A giant Teutonic brothel


She can get health insurance and a pension

HOW modern and liberated Germany’s Social Democrats and Greens sounded in 2001. They were in government and wanted to raise the legal and social status of prostitutes. So they enacted a law to remove the stigma from sex work by, for example, giving prostitutes full rights to health insurance, pensions and other benefits. “Exploiting” sex workers remained criminal, but merely employing them or providing them with a venue became legal. The idea was that responsible employers running safe and clean brothels would drive pimps out of the market.Germany thus embarked on an experiment in liberalisation just as Sweden, a country culturally similar in many ways, was going in the opposite direction. In 1999 the Swedes had made it criminal to pay for sex (pimping was already a crime). By stigmatising not the prostitutes but the men who paid them, even putting them in jail, the Swedes hoped to come close to eliminating prostitution.The two countries’ divergent paths have become hot political fodder in Germany. The centre-right camp led by Angela Merkel, the chancellor, voted against the 2001 prostitution…

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/europe/21589922-has-liberalisation-oldest-profession-gone-too-far-giant-teutonic-brothel?fsrc=rss|eur

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