In the course of the Corona crisis, prohibition was introduced in Germany unnoticed by many: Anyone who sells sex is now liable to prosecution and is fined up to 5,000 Euros. At the same time, many of those affected have no alternative but to continue, because otherwise there is a threat of hunger and existential need, as social scientist Katharina Sass explains: „Most prostituted women (and others) in Germany have no access to social security benefits („Hartz IV“), short-time work benefits or health care.” Manuela Schon, sociologist and activist against violence against women, adds: „Many are not registered in Germany and are at the mercy of their pimps without protection. Or they are registered but have no social networks outside the milieu that could be activated for support.“
Therefore, the German network The Left for a World without Prostitution (LINKE für eine Welt ohne Prostitution) demands:
- Immediate provision of emergency accommodation for prostitutes (in hotels, boarding houses, residential containers or similar). We reject accommodation in brothels on principle, as this increases the dependence on the operators.
- Abolition of the exclusion of benefits for EU citizens, unbureaucratic granting of SGB II or VII benefits; alternatively or temporarily: immediate payment of financial aid (for example a fixed daily allowance)
- Distribution of food and hygiene products
- Access to free health care
- Planning and provision of longer-term measures to facilitate the exit from prostitution (educational opportunities, psychological support) and offer real employment alternatives
- Logistical and financial support for women who, in this situation, wish to travel to their home countries to visit their families, where children often are looked after by family members
- Punishment of clients who continue to buy sex despite Corona
- Punishment of brothel operators and pimps who continue to profit from the prostitution of others
- No criminalization of prostitutes, not even in the form of fines under the IfSG; withdrawal of the relevant regulations. In prostitution, the demanders and organizers have the power, not the prostitutes. For this reason, criminal and regulatory law must be on the side of the prostitutes, as is the case in the Nordic Model.
„Immediate action is required at the local, state and federal level“, explains Manuela Schon in conclusion for the network The Left for a World without Prostitution.