Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Prostitution in Germany
Wednesday's Christian Science Monitor brings an update on the situation with legal prostitution in Germany. The article notes that some of the recent concern with legal prostitution was sparked by the hyped-but-untrue story of a woman whose unemployment benefits were ended because of her refusal to take a job as a prostitute. But in any case, legality has been far from a panacea; for one, many prostitutes are not all that interested in becoming taxed and regulated, and others are not in the country legally. Though I favor some forms of legal prostitution, in general I would say that in those places where it exists, it has not been very successful at limiting illicit prostitution.
Nevertheless, the legal trade is pretty extensive in Germany:
An estimated 400,000 prostitutes work in Germany, and 1.2 million customers are said to use their services daily. Revenues are estimated at 6 billion euros every year - equivalent to those of companies like Porsche and Adidas...
In Stuttgart, where 2,700 prostitutes are registered, brothels now pay 15 euros or 25 euros per day, per prostitute, to financial authorities. The city of Cologne receives roughly 700,000 euros per month from the business. In Dortmund, owners of sex establishments have been creating contracts with prostitutes that offer benefits.