Prostitution in Germany is a $21 billion-a-year industry
Features Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | September 9, 2014 | 04:25 pm IST Germany has a booming sex industry- an estimated 1.5 million men visiting prostitutes every day in Germany, states a documentary published by Journeyman Pictures on YouTube recently. Germany has also come to be known as 'Europe's Bordello' for its liberal sex laws, reports the video titled Inside Germany's Sex Supermarkets. 'Legislation passed in 2002, motivated by a desire to improve conditions for sex workers by granting access to health insurance and social security, saw prostitution in Germany swell to a $21 billion-a-year industry'. The documentary attempts to give a picture of the expanding sex trade in Germany by talking to sex workers, brothel operators and legislators. Megabrothels seem to have been sprouting across Germany, transforming the cities in its way. "Prostitution has always been a social need. It wasn't invented by anybody. We need to deal with it and make it manageable", says Michael Beretin, marketing manager for Paradise, a chain of new-age megabrothels, According to the documentary, 'Men can now go window shopping for sex in the city of Aachen, have unlimited sex with as many women as they like for 99 Euros at a flat rate brothel in Berlin, or visit an eight-storey mega-brothel in Cologne.' Brothel owner and former prostitute Felicitas Schirov had won a critical case in 1999 when local authorities wanted to shut down her brothel on grounds of immorality. The judge decided that views on morality had changed. Schirov says, "The only ones who mind Germany being called Europe's largest brothel are those who mind prostitution. But who is really against it?" However, not all agree with the thriving and prospering sex industry that Germany has. There are several concerns over trafficking and exploitation of women. Christian Democratic Union MP Sylvia Pantel says in the documentary, "We've become a great country for sex tourism and for perversion. Germany doesn't want to be the brothel of the world. Nor do we want to create incentives to attract sex tourism to Germany". The government is also said to be of the view that most prostitutes are exploited and there seems to be no proper statistics on the number of women trafficked and forced into the flesh trade. Of the prostitutes interviewed in the documentary, some seem to be okay with their work and working conditions, while the others have very little choice to do anything else. A fraction argues that prostitution should be more transparent whereas others feel the need to have stricter laws regulating the industry. Watch the documentary here:
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