Brothel Crackdown: Politicians Aim to Reform Prostitution Laws
With human trafficking on the rise in Europe, Germany's governing coalition has agreed to a long-disputed reform of the country's prostitution laws, SPIEGEL has learned.
After years of dispute, Germany's center-right governing coalition has agreed to enact tougher penalties for human trafficking and forced prostitution.
According to SPIEGEL information, members of the coalition -- made up of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) -- say that an agreement over an appropriate set of regulations has nearly been reached.
Prostitution is legal in Germany, but the coalition plans to toughen criminal penalties against human trafficking and more strictly regulate the commercial activities of brothels. In the future, brothel operators will need special authorization to open such an establishment. Moreover, authorities will be required to enforce hygienic standards and operators will be screened for prior criminal offences. There is still resistance, however, from Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP), who wants to prevent harsher criminal laws in the sex industry.
For years, both conservative and FDP lawmakers have been pressing to reform the prostitution laws that were passed in 2001 by the governing coalition of Social Democrats and Greens led by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Though the legislation helped free prostitution from the stain of immorality, experts say it also led to a sharp increase in the sexual exploitation of women -- mainly because authorities failed to properly regulate the industry. Most recently, a report by the European Union's commissioner for home affairs, Cecilia Malmström, showed that human trafficking in Europe has risen sharply.
Stay informed with our free news services:
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2013
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH
Click on the links below for more information about DER SPIEGEL's history, how to subscribe or purchase the latest issue of the German-language edition in print or digital form or how to obtain rights to reprint SPIEGEL articles.
- Frequently Asked Questions: Everything You Need to Know about DER SPIEGEL
- Six Decades of Quality Journalism: The History of DER SPIEGEL
- A New Home in HafenCity: SPIEGEL's New Hamburg HQ
- Reprints: How To License SPIEGEL Articles
Corriere della Sera
MORE FROM SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL
German PoliticsMerkel's Moves: Power Struggles in Berlin
World War IITruth and Reconciliation: Why the War Still Haunts Europe
EnergyGreen Power: The Future of Energy
European UnionUnited Europe: A Continental Project
Climate ChangeGlobal Warming: Curbing Carbon Before It's Too Late