Already overrun by 400,000 prostitutes, the Germans are planning to provide sex shacks, “mega-brothels” and street service by another 40,000 women brought in to meet the “needs” of some 3 million fans at the World Cup soccer competition that will be held this June 9 through July 9 in 12 German cities. All this is described as a “pragmatic” response.
Prostitution is legalized in Germany with official statements declaring that it is not “immoral.” Proponents expect record profits currently, income from the sex trade supposedly tops $4.5 billion annually.
This is not exactly a favorable backdrop for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the United States during the first week of May.
While the left cheers the opportunity for “sex workers” to profit from the event, and politicians see increased attendance and good vibes at the sports competition, others see tawdriness and worse.
It is estimated that three-fourths of Germany’s prostitutes are foreigners who have been trafficked into the country; those brought in for the World Cup will also include victims of trafficking. An estimated 15,000 so-called “forced laborers” already work in Germany most of them trapped in sexual exploitation. Yet national concern seems focused on making sure the customers’ anonymity is protected. Thus, the huts will have drive-in garages complete with condom-vending machines, snack bars and emergency exits.
Numerous groups including the German Police Union are working to protect the vulnerable and end plans for commercial exploitation. The European Parliament (representing the 25 nations that constitute the European Union) has weighed in, expressing concern and asking Germany to “take appropriate measures,” including a recommendation for telephone help-lines. The National Women’s Council of Ireland has launched a campaign, “Buying Sex is not a Sport.”
Chancellor Merkel, on the other hand, remains silent on what the European Parliament has called the “dreadful problem” of sex trafficking and which President Bush has called “modern-day slavery.” Pressure is mounting for the Chancellor to take a stance against sexual exploitation of women and join a worldwide campaign to prosecute those involved in the criminal networks that exploit women for commercial gain.
Legalization of prostitution has been sold as the solution to exploitation. Legalization is supposed to protect the “sex workers” and regulate the “industry.” In reality, legalization simply tends to make illegal prostitution grow. The idea of benefits accruing to the women is largely a fantasy, and organized crime finds ways to evade taxes so that the dreamed-of additional revenues don’t materialize.
Concerned Women for America and others ask Chancellor Merkel to lead the way in foiling plans to turn the World Cup competition into an event that exploits women and violates human rights in a sleazy, nationwide, commercial-sex orgy.
Activists are warning that the situation during the World Cup is ripe for disastrous human-rights abuses. Young women will arrive in Germany thinking that they will be waitresses and dancers; instead, they will likely find themselves without documentation and at the mercy of international networks associated with organized crime.
The world can be excused for seeing the “sex huts” as similar to the Port-a-Potties that are routinely parked at the edges of mass gatherings to meet the needs of the crowds pouring into public events. But providing Port-a-Potties is a pragmatic response to a physical need.
Allowing sex huts for commercial sexual exploitation at the World Cup competition puts the German government in league with pimps.
The sex shacks tarnish the Cup.
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Concerned Women for America’s spokesperson on sex trafficking, has worked in the trafficking abolition movement for nearly a decade.
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