Sex Work and Human Rights

Posts tagged “Bündnis 90

“I thought it was all different!”

Film stills from a symposium about the German Prostitution Act at the Urania Berlin on December 9th, 2013. The event was organised by Felicitas Schirow who had invited experts from the fields of justice, criminology, social work, sociology, and social sciences, as well as an expert from the Berlin State Office of Criminal Investigation (LKA) and two women’s rights spokeswomen from the Left (Party) and the Greens (see below). A video and an English translation of my presentation are in preparation.

For the German version, please click here.
Für die deutsche Version bitte hier klicken.
All images © Andrew Levine

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Organiser

Felicitas Schirow | Since 1997 Owner of the brothel “Cafe Pssst!” in Berlin Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. The decision by the Berlin Administrative Court on December 1st, 2000, to declare the withdrawal of her pub license as unlawful is widely seen as precedent that triggered the adoption of the Prostitution Act of 2002.

Panellists

Percy MacLean | Chief judge at the Berlin Administrative Court (ret.), former director of the German Institute for Human Rights, recipient of the 2004 Carl von Ossietzky Medal by the International League for Human Rights (ILHR) which honours citizens or initiatives that promote basic human rights

Heike Rudat | Director of the unit dealing with organised crime at the Berlin State Office of Criminal Investigation (LKA)

Prof. Dr. emer. Monika Frommel | Criminologist, former director of the institute of sanction law and criminology at the University of Kiel

Ilona Hengst | Social worker with 25 years of experience working with sex workers, previously held positions at several district offices in Berlin

Gesine Agena | Spokeswoman for women’s rights and member of the federal board of the German Greens

Evrim Sommer | Spokeswoman for women’s rights and member of the Berlin parliament for the Left Party (Linkspartei)

Christiane Howe | Sociologist at the Institute for Social Studies at Humboldt University Berlin

Matthias Lehmann | Researcher, prospective PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law, Queens University Belfast


Prostitution Law: No Increase in Forced Prostitution

Volker Beck (Photo by Mathias Schindler)“The assumption that liberal prostitution laws lead to an increase in human trafficking is refuted. On the contrary: ever since the liberalisation, there has been more police activity but notwithstanding, there are significantly less suspects, convicts and victims. That’s rather an indicator that the disentanglement of prostitution from criminal environments is increasingly successful.” – Volker Beck, MP

In early February, the German Greens submitted an enquiry to the federal government, concerning the impact of the German prostitution law on the trend of human trafficking. On February 22nd, the government issued a reply. The following are translated quotes. Below, you can download the enquiry and the answer of the federal government as pdf files. All documents are available in German only.

“In the year 2000, the National Situation Report about Trafficking in Human Beings registered altogether 926 victims. In the year 2011, there were 640. This equates to a decrease of just under 31 per cent. If one compares the figures of registered victims in 2003 [a year after the prostitution law was passed] and 2011, one sees a certifiable decline of just above 48 per cent.” It should be noted that this is despite “greater activities by the police”, a fact Volker Beck referred to in the above quote. [Page 7-8]

From a quantitative viewpoint, the risk potential of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation in Germany is “limited”. [Page 8]

“The annually compiled National Situation Report by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) shows no significant increase of victims that would indicate an expansion of the phenomenon as a result of the prostitution law taking effect.” [Page 10]

The reply by the German government thus refutes the claim by Neumayer, Cho and Dreher that legalised prostitution increases human trafficking.

Please click here for the enquiry by Volker Beck (Cologne), Monika Lazar, Ekin Deligöz, Britta Haßelmann, Ingrid Hönlinger, Memet Kilic, Dr. Konstantin von Notz, Tabea Rößner, Arfst Wagner (Schleswig) and the faction Bündnis 90/Die Grünen.

Please click here for the reply by the federal government. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the staff at Volker Beck’s office for immediately supplying me with this document.

You can view the full text of the German prostitution law (ProstG) on the website of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Please click on the image below to access an article about the enquiry by the Central German Newspaper (English Translation via Google Translate).

Related Posts

“We still know very little.” – 10 Years Prostitution Law (ProstG) in Germany

Does the Legalisation of Sex Work increase Trafficking?

MZ - Prostitution Law

Less cases of forced prostitution registered since the liberalisation of the prostitution law in 2002