Germany Gets First Professional Association of Sex Work

Germany has formed its first professional association of sex workers to lobby and fight for the rights of sex workers as well as improve their lives and working conditions.

In an interview with Spiegel Online, Johanna Weberb, the founder of the association, said that the association caters to different sex workers working in different fields.

Anyone working in the sex industry can become a member,’ she said. ‘Our members work in all sectors of the sexindustry.”

She further said the association was borne from the efforts of sex worker rights advocates in the past. “We are not the first to attempt to found such an association. There have always been dedicated advocates who have tried to build something, and we still benefit from some of their work today. We want to establish a permanent organization for sex workers. This is very important right now.”

Among one of the undertakings of the association is addressing new policies and legislation that aim to curtail sex work in Germany. It was recently reported that the Emma magazine published a signature campaign in which 90 celebrities called for a tightening of Germany's laws on sex work.

According to Weberb, the new legislation currently being discussed “lumps sex work together with human trafficking and deals with fully unrealistic beliefs”.

“We are not fundamentally opposed to certain regulations of brothels, but the provisions of the draft law are much too wobbly, and will ensure that our jobs aren't improved, but rather eradicated. The same rules that apply to small residential brothels are supposed to now apply to larger ones. That would mean the closure of half the brothels.”

She further praised a 2001 sex work law passed by a governing coalition of the center-left Social Democrats and the Greens. “Since the law passed, we can do our jobs legally, sue to get paid and receive social insurance. Moreover, our working climate has improved dramatically”.

You can read the full interview here.