On the picture: Ingeborg Kraus, Sonia Sanchez and Sheila Jeffreys.
Thank you for inviting me here to this international conference in Pamplona, to all the organizations that have made this possible, and especially Sara Vicente from the “Comision para la investigacion de malos tratos a mujeres”.
15 years ago, nearly at the same time, Sweden and Germany have choosen a complete different way how to deal with prostitution. Sweden decided to punish the sex buyers and Germany exactly the opposite. Time has gone and we can now see without any misunderstandings, which model has been the most protective for the women and the society.
Prostitution has always been legal in Germany, except a short period of time in the early 20th century. Germany instituted a law in 2002 that tried to make out of prostitution a job as any other. The politicians thought, that it wasn´t prostitution itself that was the problem, but the discrimination of the women by the society and the lack of rights they had. Considering the problem from this perspective, they wanted to strengthen the women as best as possible. (They said): Prostitution should not be seen any more as something “against the good morals“, but as a job. For now on, the women were considered as workers, “sex workers.” And if they are workers, they should have the same rights as any other worker that run a business or is employed somewhere, like having a social security or if their rights are not respected, they should have the right to enforce a claim by legal action. The state didn´t want to put any regulations concerning the sex practices. They said that nobody can say how people should have sex. As they run a business, they are also allowed to make publicity for it. So the new law cancelled the restriction of promoting prostitution. Pimping became forbidden.
Fifteen years after passing the law, what are the outcomes? Continue reading