• Germany's news in English

Mayor to restrict sex trade in prostitution town

The Local · 19 Feb 2014, 17:15

Published: 19 Feb 2014 17:15 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

New rules will see street workers limited to just three streets in the town notorious for its liberal attitude to prostitution, said regional broadcaster Saarbrücker Rundfunk on Wednesday.

"Until now street prostitution has been allowed on a total length of 547 kilometres [of streets]. Under the new restricted zone it will be only slightly over two kilometres," said mayor Charlotte Britz as she presented the plans.

Saarbrücken, which made international headlines with plans for Europe's biggest brothel last year, has been battling with a tide of sex tourism from nearby France.

In December, when France changed the law to penalize prostitutes' clients with a fine of over €1,500, the town began to fear a surge in customers travelling over the border to Germany where prostitution is legal.

There are now an estimated 1,000 sex workers in a town of 180,000 - more prostitutes per head on average than there are doctors. Until now, accosting customers on the street had been allowed in the whole town apart from a small area in the city centre.

A working group of town and state officials are planning to restrict street-walking to three streets to allow police to keep a closer eye on the business.  

Prostitutes will also only be able to stand on the streets during hours of darkness - in winter from 8pm and in summer from 10pm, operating until 6am the next morning.

The new rules are expected to come into force in the spring if approved by the Saarland state cabinet next week.

Story continues below…

Britz, an advocate of re-criminalizing prostitution in Germany, hopes tighter rules will be introduced nationwide and is calling for the legal age limit for prostitutes to be raised to 21 from 18.

Germany legalized prostitution in 2002 after lawmakers decided attempts to eliminate it were doomed to failure and that it would be better if the women involved were able to make social security payments, enjoy health cover and work in a safer environment.

The law has come under fire recently from critics who argue that legalization has largely benefited pimps and brothel owners.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd