“New” Prostitution Law
I’ve been wanting to do a piece on this since it passed in June ’15… Finally, here goes.
The new(-ish) German prostitution legislation is an big image coup for the law-and-order minded ruling Christian Democratic Party (CDU) here in Germany, yet another disastrous case of roll-back, and there is discussion of adopting the “Swedish Model” whereby prostitution itself is not illegal but rather the patron’s enlisting his or her services.
Here, the press statement in German from the CDU’s own website praising their new law to protect prostitutes, and public health, invoking onslaught of traffickers in human cargo, and “biker gangs” to which they claim to have hereby put an end.
– CDU/CSU Fraktion im Bundestag: Das Prostituiertenschutzgesetz kommt – Zeit der uferlosen Ausbeutung in der Prostitution ist vorbei. In: cducsu.de. Date: 18 Jun 2015. URL: https://www.cducsu.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/das-prostituiertenschutzgesetz-kommt. Last viewed: 26 Sep 2015.
Public health officials, medical professionals, social-services employees and last, but perhaps most vociferously sex-workers unions, and the sex-workers themselves see the matter quite differently. Here a few excerpts (Translations into English below by this blog’s author)…
“The DSTIG (German STI Society – medical specialty society for the promotion of sexual health) calls for strengthening the legal rights and role of sex workers (empowerment) regardless of their biological and social gender or sexual orientation. Only through greater legal rights will living and working condition be stabilized and violence and human trafficking be combated.”
“As early as 2003 prostitution was thoroughly decriminalized [in New Zealand]. Sex workers now have the labor, citizens, and civil rights as all other working people.
Associate Minister of Justice, Lianne Dalziel stated in the course of an investigataion that the legal reform had had a positive effect on the health and safety of sex workers, and had by no means lead to a rise in the number of prostitutes as critics of the reform had predicted.”
The New Zeeland Herald: Prostitution reform has little effect. In: nzherald.co.nz. 26 May 2008. As cited in the German Professional Association Sex-Work’s position paper on criminalizing Johns – http://berufsverband-sexarbeit.de/politik/forderungen/freierbestrafung/
“In illegality and in the gray zone between what is permitted and what is forbidden is where the working conditions of sex workers are the poorest.”
Press release of the organizational office of the German Defence Lawyers Union regarding the planned reform of prostitution law dated December 2013. (Organisationsbüro Strafverteidigungen, Pressemitteilung im Dezember 2013, „Mitteilung des Organisationsbüros der Strafverteidigervereinigungen zur angekündigten Reform des Prostitutionsrechts durch die Große Koalition) URL: http://www.strafverteidigervereinigungen.org/Material/Pressemitteilungen/prostitution_dez2013.htm
The Demands the German Association of Sex Worker (in German).