“Your protection is oppression” – Further details about Germany’s looming Prostitutes Protection Law
“Your protection is oppression” – In August 2014, sex workers protested in Nuremberg, Bavaria, as Family Minister Manuela Schwesig, chief proponent of toughening Germany’s prostitution law, visited a counselling centre for sex workers. | Photo: Voice4Sexworkers
About this text
The below is a translation of an agreement of Germany’s ruling coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, which sets out additions to the agreed upon key issues paper from August 2014 for a “Prostitutes Protection Law” (ProstSchG), which would supplement the German Prostitution Act of 2002 (ProstG).
Translation by Matthias Lehmann. Research Project Germany. Every effort has been made to translate the legal terms in such a way, that the translation remained virtually verbatim while also being intelligible. Squared parentheses in the text include additional clarifications and comments. Click here to download the original version of the document in German. Any questions, comments or suggested edits are welcome.
Agreement of the Coalition Factions about the Prostitutes Protection Law
Status: February 3rd, 2015
The following regulations will be added to the individual mandatory registration for all prostitutes:
- Producing evidence of a medical consultation at a public health service shall be a precondition for the issuance of the document confirming a prostitute’s registration. It shall be examined if the issuance of said evidence may also be arranged through resident doctors for general medicine, internal medicine and gynaecology.
- Registrations must be renewed every two years. Proof of registration must be produced during controls conducted by the authorities.
- Proof of medical consultations, as listed under 1., must be presented every 12 months, otherwise the registration becomes void.
- Brothel operators are obligated to have proof of the medical consultations of prostitutes working on their premises on file.
- It shall be examined how and at what costs access to social counselling at counselling centres can be improved.
- The registration is especially intended to protect women [engaged in prostitution]. Registrations shall be granted at the appropriate authorities. Applicants must appear in person. It shall be examined whether and to what degree a personal appearance at an officially designated counselling centre may replace appearing in person at public authorities, provided that any misuse can be ruled out.
- To satisfy the particular need for protection of under 21-year-olds engaged in prostitution and to improve their access to counselling and support programmes, the Prostitutes Protection Law shall include specific provisions.
- Prostitutes under the age of 21 must renew their registrations annually and the proof of medical consultation must be presented every 6 months.
- Should there be any indication during the registration process that a person does not possess the capacity of discernment necessary for her protection or that third persons are exploiting her, the responsible authorities shall take the required measures to ensure the protection of that person. In addition, the certificate of registration may be denied if there are any indications of human trafficking or forced prostitution, in accordance with already existing criminal law provisions.
Further agreed items:
- The mandatory use of condoms will be introduced. Clients shall be penalised for violations [Ordnungswidrigkeit; misdemeanour, administrative offence). Brothel operators are obligated to make condoms available. In the event of a breach of the mandatory condom regulation, those engaged in prostitution [i.e. sex workers] shall not be held legally accountable.
- The limited right of direction [Weisungsrecht] of prostitutes shall be further specified from the perspective of self-determination through an amendment of the Prostitution Law.
A law to protect society from an imaginary evil – Includes a full translation of the Key Issues Paper for a Law to Protect Those Working in Prostitution (Prostitutes Protection Law, ProstSchG)
Please click here for a statement by German sex worker organisation BesD [German language only].
Prostitution: Beyond an infantilising feminism – By Criminal Law Professor Dr. Monika Frommel
“Moralising Law”: Reform Proposals for the German Prostitution Act – Interview with Fabienne Freymadl, Political Spokeswoman for the Professional Organisation for Erotic and Sexual Services (Berufsverband erotische und sexuelle Dienstleistungen, BesD)
“There are already trade laws in place to take action against exploitation” – Interview with Theo from sex worker association Hydra e.V.
Lies & Truths about the German Prostitution Act – An Introduction for the Uninitiated