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dimanche 28 janvier 2007
Germany : the intensification of the prostituted women’s rights did not improve their situation

The situation of the German prostituted women did not improve in spite of the coming into force, five years ago, of a law supposed to strengthen their rights. It is the conclusion reached by the grand coalition government in a report published on Wednesday, January 24.

The opening of gigantic brothels for the World Cup of football in 2006 had relaunched the debate. The legislation adopted in 2001 by the government Schröder had to facilitate for the sex workers, - they would be 400 000 besides the Rhine-, access to a contract of employment and to social allowances. But, according to the study published by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth only 1 % of women prostituted possess a contract of employment and most continue to hide their activity when they sign a health insurance. Also, the prostituted women do not dare to raise a complaint when a brothel or a customer refuses to pay them. The report retains nevertheless a positive element : the legislation which had aroused important protests within the Christian right wing, does not hamper legal proceedings against trafficking in women and forced prostitution.

In spite of a clear hostility towards this legislation, the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) declares that reform would not be overruled. She wishes to improve it in order to give better help to women who want to give up this activity, to condemn the customers of women victims of trafficking, forced prostitution, or pedocriminality. Federal Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries ( SPD) prepares a bill. The government also evokes an intensification of the control on brothels.

Cécile Calla

Le Monde, January 25, 2007.
Berlin correspondence.

* Lire l’article en français : Cécile Calla, "Allemagne : le renforcement des droits des prostituées n’a pas amélioré leur situation", Le Monde, 25 janvier 2007.

Translated by Elaine Audet.

On Sisyphe, January 30, 2007.

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