In Germany, where prostitution and brothels are legal, 90 celebrities (from both the right and the left wing) recently signed a petition asking to change the 2002 law, which defines prostitution as a business like any other.
The law is being highly criticized for increasing sex-trafficking in Germany, and failing to improve the lives of the women in prostitution. According to the petitioners, the law has made Germany “become the hub of Europe’s traffickers and a paradise for sex tourists from the neighboring countries.” They ask for a ban on purchasing sex, with punishment of the buyers if necessary.
Alice Schwarzer, the German feminist activist who launched the petition, explains in a recent interview that “90% of the women offered in Germany’s brothels come from Bulgaria and Romania and are forced into prostitution”. She also says that the prostitution system “violates the human dignity of men and women – including that of so-called “voluntary” prostitutes.”
The debate over criminalizing the purchase of sex is increasingly being debated, not only in Germany. In France, the National Assembly voted last month for a law criminalizing buyers. The Netherlands, Ireland and Finland are also debating over changing their current laws.