Prostitution © Caro Bastian (epd)
An alliance of aid and women's organizations wants to work together for the so-called "Nordic model" in prostitution. Voluntariness in prostitution has been shown to be a fiction in most cases.
The Prostitution Protection Act, which has been in effect in Germany for three years, has failed and has not fundamentally improved the situation of prostitutes, said Inge Bell of Terre des Femmes in Berlin on Monday. In addition to Terre des Femmes, the aid organizations Solwodi and Sisters are among those participating in the alliance.
The alliance commented on the International Day against Prostitution. The Nordic Model provides for a general "sex purchase ban" and punishes johns, while decriminalizing prostitutes. It was introduced in Sweden in 1999 and now applies in several EU countries, such as France.
The Swedish ambassador to Germany, Per Thoresson, rejected the accusation that the regulation pushes prostitution underground and thus promotes violence against women. According to scientific evaluations, the opposite is the case. Prostitution has declined, and Sweden has become unattractive to human traffickers.
Young prostitutes from Eastern Europe in Germany
Annika Kleist of Sisters pointed out that over 80 percent of prostitutes in Germany came from Eastern European countries. They often come here very young under false promises. For them, it has "catastrophic consequences when sexual acts are performed on them against their will.". Maria Decker of Solwodi also reported "serious psychological problems" among prostitutes. Most continue to live in brothels and have no contact with the outside world.
Kleist sharply criticized the implementation of the law in Berlin. Of the 400 or so brothels, just 220 had applied for recognition by February, of which 33 had been processed so far, he said. Now politicians are even debating whether the police should continue to have unrestricted access to brothels for control purposes.
Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker (CDU), vice chairwoman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, supports the cause. The Prostitutes Protection Act was the right thing to do, but it failed. She lamented "terrible conditions" in Germany. In light of debates about "No means No" and "MeToo," he said it is incomprehensible that women continue to be subjected to unwanted sexual assault by the prevailing power structure. The CDU politician also lamented the image of women conveyed by sex for sale.
Diakonia against "Nordic Model
Diakonie spoke out against the model in a press release. Maria Loheide, director of social policy at Diakonie Deutschland, said, "Bans neither prevent prostitution nor curb its negative effects". There is no reliable evidence for the effectiveness of the Nordic model. Rather, a sex-buying ban increases the risk of being exploited. Working conditions would deteriorate and stigmatization would increase.