Column mithulogy: dystopia for sex workers

Just as sunscreen does not protect the sun, the Prostitute Protection Act does not protect prostitutes. When will everyone finally understand that?

The last time there was a whore card was under National Socialism Photo: Bjorn Kietzmann

What if the federal government decides tomorrow that journalism is a very dangerous profession and journalists have to register. To prevent people from being forced to sweat it out in news agencies, there are also forced counseling sessions. If there is suspicion there that they would not type voluntarily, they don’t get a J-card, which they have to carry with them whenever they approach a computer, otherwise they are liable to prosecution – even if they publish something only once a year, and even if they have never published anything before and this is their first article.

However, crap. This is not a dystopia. But for a year now it has been reality for sex workers in Germany. I just came from the whore congress in Berlin and I can’t drink as much as I want to cry.

The last time there was a whore card was under National Socialism. This is embarrassing, just not for the politicians who happily accept the surveillance of an entire professional group and call for even more controls – i.e. raids – if they "save just one woman from forced prostitution" in return. But they do not, as research has proven even before the ProstSchutzG: In the last 10 years, not a single case of human trafficking has been uncovered by controls. The association Dona Carmen comments: Just as sunscreen does not protect the sun, the Prostitution Protection Act does not protect prostitutes.

Please replace editor with prostitute

But back to the registration. Official: So, you are an editor of the taz? How many people work for them? Editor: We have a pool of authors. Official notes "is employer of 50 to 100 employees" and forwards this to the tax authorities, who then estimate the annual income.

Please replace editor with prostitute. No kidding. It is not uncommon for sex workers to be asked how many clients they have when they register (no *, because authorities can’t imagine clients), and then the letter from the tax office arrives. Such questions are not legal, but they are asked. Just as job centers like to see the whore ID or request it directly from the health department. The consultations are anonymous, and data may only be forwarded if there is imminent danger, and that does not mean the danger of having to pay out Hartz IV.

That’s why I demand: If a professional group suddenly has to navigate through a minefield of legal pitfalls, they must also be entitled to legal support. And from lawyers they trust. And at the expense of the state, which has made this registration mandatory. After all, we are talking about protection for prostitutes, not against them.

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