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More adventurous than the average bear

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Red Lights and Red Lines (Sex Workers and Legalisation)

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Red Lights and Red Lines

"I'm less concerned about sex tourism into Germany because I don't really believe that most European men do have the means to travel all the way to Germany just for sex. My constituency is at the German-French border and you know very often rumour has it that here is a high level of French men asking for sexual services in my constituency. But at the end of the day, it's the commuters. We have 11,000 French who work in Germany, you know. Just in my constituency. And of course, you know, French men aren't different from German men. They seek for sex during lunch break and after office hours, before they go home to their family. So no. When it comes to Germany being a major sex tourism destination I'm not concerned at all...

Just as prostitution can mean very different things for people who sell sex, I think that prostitution can mean a very different thing also for people who buy it...

[On Sweden's criminalisation of buying sex] The consequences for sex workers are much more severe because the police just sits outside your apartment and arrest your clients. We have 3 different laws that make you lose your apartment if you sell sex in it... The police was really active on the street arresting a lot of clients. Suddenly, they had to be really rushed into making this judgment that you have to do to sense if a client is safe or not and before they used to negotiate with the clients before getting into the car. Now they have to get into the car first and then they will negotiate when the car is already moving.

And also small safety things like sex workers will have their safe spots where they tell their clients to drive and now the clients have more powers and say no I don't want to go there because the police will know about it.

Point your finger at a group of people and say they are all victims and if they say otherwise they don't know what's good for them. Then something happens in society... gives an alibi for discrimination against this group...

'The clients are the ones that are best well-placed to find trafficking victims. And they will definitely think twice before going to the police. Because that would also mean they go to the police and basically say: I'm an evil man who violates women. And I think you know if we are really serious about the problem of trafficking, first of all we have to recognise the diversity of people that are being trafficked. The assumption that selling sex itself is part of the abuse is making a lot of people that are being exploited totally invisible'...

'In New Zealand, which has a decriminalised system, sex workers are much more empowered to organise on a smaller scale among themselves to form informal cooperatives etc and work together for safety, which is something that is not possible in Europe at the moment.

Many of the laws that have been introduced in Europe, sex workers have not been part of the consultation process in terms of developing those laws and sex workers have to be at the front and centre of any action that governments take to change laws on sex work. And that unfortunately is not happening in Europe at the moment'"
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