At a press conference in Berlin’s Artemis brothel in Charlottenburg, representatives and supporters of sex workers called for more rights and fewer restrictions for prostitutes.

The mandatory regular registration and counseling of women, criminal prosecution of customers and other special laws for prostitutes and brothels would have to be abolished. That said Stephanie Klee from the Federal Association of Sexual Services (BSD) on Thursday, the “International Whore Day”.

The Prostitute Protection Act only serves repression and control, not protection. “It’s all about pushing back the industry,” said Klee. “No other industry has such close controls.” Sex workers should finally be treated like normal professionals. The measures are only an introduction to a future ban on prostitution through the back door, as in some Scandinavian countries.

The association received support from the well-known lawyer and women’s rights activist Seyran Ates. Prostitution should not be condemned or criminalized across the board. Many women worked voluntarily and independently. They are self-confident, but are discriminated against by society and politics.

Of course, the area of ​​forced prostitution must be combated sharply, emphasized Ates. But that must be done with its own laws against violence and human trafficking. In order to protect the exploited women, there must be much more money for advice and social work instead of repression.

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Since 2021, the law against forced prostitution has allowed a customer to be punished if he could have recognized the circumstances under which the woman is working. Klee, Ates and a lawyer emphasized that this is hardly possible for most customers. Forced prostitutes would not admit that, and otherwise there are hardly any signs for laypeople. “The law is of no use against criminals, but unsettles customers.”