Abolition 2014 – Press release: German government coalition fails to agree on anything but the most minimalist points regarding prostitution
The prostitution business in Germany has an estimated annual turnover of € 14.5 bn. Prostituted women are taxed € 25.00 per day in many cities. The VAT generated in the brothels on drinks and food additionally boosts the state’s income. The gains from prostitution are included in Germany’s GNP. Human costs are not counted, the costs in trauma and diseases suffered by those in prostitution denied, and in many cases expulsed along with the women from Eastern Europe once they cannot be exploited here any longer.
Our government and to a large extent our media deliberately ignore the Evaluation of the Swedish law, the Evaluation of the Norwegian law and internationally recognized studies into the relationship between legalized prostitution and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The government also fails to recognize and to adequately address the vulnerabilities of women and others that facilitate their recruitment into prostitution, and the exploitation, violence, abuse and trauma they are exposed to.
Following the hearing on prostitution held by the German Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth at which only known pro-sex industry advocates and lobbyists were heard, the German government coalition has now released the outcome of their meeting on Wednesday, 13 August.
None of the points agreed on will significantly help women in prostitution. Agreements are: Prohibition of flat rate and gangbang offers, a mandatory registration of all women and others in prostitution and a licensing procedure for brothels.
Advocacy groups for prostituted women and others have in fact demanded these steps for good reasons. Yet while even these weak plans have already come under heavy attack by the various pro-prostitution lobbying groups, there is no clear statement on better resources for police forces to implement check-ups on brothels. There are no provisions on how to deal with human trafficking or forced prostitution. The plan to raise the age of entry into prostitution to 21 (announced in the coalition treaty) seems to have been dropped as has the plan to punish buyers who “willingly and knowingly” buy sex from a victim of trafficking.
There is no longer any talk of mandatory condoms, exit support isn’t mentioned, and the “limited right of direction” exercised by brothel owners – giving them the right to prescribe practices, times and clothes to the women in prostitution in their brothels – remains untouched.
The Nordic Model, that has been proven to be successful, is not even remotely considered nor is there any interest in unbiased information on this approach.
Abolitionists in Germany are opposed to any measures that serve to harass women in prostitution. Nor do we believe in the possibility of “harm reduction” in prostitution. At the same time we are shocked at the clear unwillingness by the German government to reign in a market that violates the basic human rights of a huge number of women on a daily basis.
Please help us stop this raging pimp machine that our state has become.
You can find an additional summary of the situation in an interview with SOLWODI (Solidarity With Women in Distress) in English and French here: http://ressourcesprostitution.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/germany-law-on-prostitution-is-insufficientallemagne-loi-insuffisante-sur-la-prostitution/
Additional information on the hearing held on 14 June 2014:
Members of Abolition 2014 come from all over Germany, from different parties, professions and individual backgrounds. We cooperate with international abolitionist organizations, scientists, counseling services and prostitution survivors’ initiatives, and we are committed to providing the public with in-depth information on the subject.