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Subscriber active since. Prostitution is big business in Europe. By some estimates, the of prostitutes across the European Union's 28 members states ranges betweenand as many as 1. While prostitution has a long history in Europe, it's legality varies from country to country. In countries like Germany and Greece, the sex trade is fully legalized and regulated, whereas is many northern European countries like Sweden, it is illegal to buy sex, but not illegal to sell it.

Brothels and red-light districts have been a part of major European cities like Amsterdam and Hamburg for decades and, in some cases, centuries. But the current era of prostitution began around when the Netherlands became one of the first major European countries to formalize prostitution's legality and regulate it like any other industry. Germany, Greece, and others followed suit, though Switzerland has had fully legal prostitution since Legalizing and regulating prostitution was supposed to make the trade safer for sex workers, helping them access critical health and government services, but by most s, it mostly resulted in turning prostitution a major industry with hotel-sized brothels, brothel chains, and a cash cow of tax revenue.

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Log out. US Markets Loading H M S In the news. Executive Lifestyle. Business Insider. Prostitution is legal and regulated in GermanySwitzerlandGreeceAustriaand many other countries in Europe. Many major European cities have red-light districts and regulated brothels that pay taxes and follow certain rules. Regulating the prostitution industry was supposed to help limit sex trafficking and connect sex workers with critical health and government services, but reports say there hasn't been much success on either front.

While laws vary, Europe has a more permissive attitude towards prostitution than in the US. In other countries, it is legal but not regulated. For most Americans, prostitution in Europe likely calls to mind Amsterdam's red-light district. Inthe Netherlands was one of the first countries to legalize and regulate prostitution Though the Netherlands began regulating prostitution inthe sex trade was more or less tolerated for decades before.

The idea behind legalizing the trade was that it would it would root out organized crime, limit human trafficking, improve worker access to healthcare, and make sex work safer. While prostitution Greece west sluts been legal in Switzerland since and is protected by the constitution, Petit Fleur, the first legal brothel, didn't open until Typically, sex workers work in a brothel or buy a daily "ticket" to sell sex in deated street areas.

Europe's 'biggest brothel' is Germany. While sex work was tolerated as early as the s, the government formally legalized it in Reeperbahn in Hamburg, Germany has long been one of the world's most famous red-light districts. In its s heyday, it was home to over 1, prostitutes, but in recent years, the area has become better known cheap bars and binge drinking.

Hamburg's main sex-trade street is blocked by foot high barricades on either end, and men under eighteen and women are prohibited from entering. The barricades are a major point of contention for feminist activists, who frequently demonstrate nearby.

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The women then sell to customers at prices they negotiate directly. The brothel takes only the room rental fee. The oldest brothel in Hamburg is Hotel Luxor, which opened over 60 years ago. InWaltraud Mehrer, the Luxor's "madame," closed the brothel due to declining business. One of the largest 'eros centers' is Pascha, a story brothel-nightclub in Cologne, Germany. Typically, a woman has to sleep with four men to break even. Pascha has hair, tanning, and nail salons, a restaurant, and a boutique for the women. Pascha is run by Hermann Mueller, whose father opened the brothel.

Mueller told Greece west sluts Telegraph in that his girlfriend of several years is a prostitute. Her profession doesn't bother him. Legalized prostitution has spawned even bigger ventures than Pascha, like Paradise, a chain of five brothels across Germany, with more on the way. Not everyone is happy about the increased sex trade. From there, anyone can use the facilities, which include saunas, a movie theater, a restaurant, and rooms. Sex workers negotiate directly with customers.

Many are coerced or trafficked. Not every customer wants sex. One worker not pictured told The Telegraph that she's had customers that want to be walked on a leash "like a doggy," while others only want to tell her stories about their childhood. Become whatever they need," she said. While the sex trade has encouraged "sex tourists" from the UK, France, and the US to visit, many customers are locals that have been going for years. A man named Michael told Reuters he'd been going since he was 13 and had a favorite sex worker he frequented.

Like any other industry, it fluctuates with the economy. Inwith Germany seeing a flood of tourists for the World Cup, many brothels saw a boom in business. After the financial crisis inbusiness tanked. Switzerland and Germany have both pioneered so-called "sex boxes" to eliminate street solicitation. Customers drive in, negotiate with a worker, park in a box, and then do their thing. The facility includes security and on-site social services and is open at 7 p. A city spokesperson told USAToday that the facility has been effective at stopping violence against sex workers and reducing human trafficking.

The industry has developed its own mini-celebrities over the years. Molly Luft, who passed away inwas once considered Germany's most famous prostitute.

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She regularly appeared on talk shows and even had her own late-night show at one point. Meanwhile, Martine and Louise Fokkens at 70 years old are considered Amsterdam's oldest prostitutes. They have worked the De Wallen district for fifty years and written books about their experience. Some cities even have holidays to celebrate their red-light district. Each summer Frankfurt hosts "Bahnhofsviertelnacht" or "Train Station Quarter Night", a festival that runs through the city's famous red-light district.

Amsterdam even has a Museum of Prostitution celebrating the city's history of the sex trade Despite Switzerland's successes with the "sex box" experiment, many are starting to consider sex work legalization to be a failure in the Netherlands and Germany. Despite hopes that legalization would bring sex work out of the dark, little about the industry is in the open.

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Only 76 women have taken advantage of laws that would allow them to get social security. Many hoped a reform law would improve regulation, but it seems to have done little. In Hamburg, about sex workers registered with police as required, but some social services believe there are as many as 6, sex workers in the city.

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Because many sex workers are foreigners and only come for a few months, they see no benefit in registering. They don't want to pay taxes or be branded as sex workers. A bigger issue is that many activists say they've seen an increase in human trafficking since the sex trade was legalized. The vast majority of human trafficking is for forced prostitution, and Germany and the Netherlands are among the worst offenders.

Raids on red-light establishments are frequent, but human trafficking is difficult to prosecute. A European Union-funded report found that over 23, people were trafficked from to Activists say legal sex work makes it easier for traffickers to have coerced trafficked workers in plain sight. Sometimes, workers come willingly, lured by profit, but find working conditions to be abysmal.

Some sex workers argue that the solution is not to a ban, but better legislation. Amsterdam's mayor, Femke Halsema not picturedhas called for changes, saying that the industry is "increasingly linked to the humiliation of women by large groups of tourists. There are many feminist activist groups throughout Europe that are outright against any kind of legal prostitution and are trying to ban it. Sabine Constabel, the leader of Sisters, a group that helps women leave the sex trade, considers any kind of sex work to be rape. There has been a growing movement for countries to adopt Sweden's model, where it is legal to sell sex, but not to buy it.

Customers get slapped with hefty fines. Some activists believe eliminating demand would curb sex trafficking. But given the history in the Netherlands and Germany, it is unlikely such a measure would get through. attempts to curb the sex trade there sparked backlash.

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A more likely reform is to criminalize people that pay for sex with a trafficked or coerced worker. Loading Something is loading. address. Deal icon An icon in the shape of a lightning bolt. For you.

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