At the invitation of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, I sat down for a webtalk with SISTERS-chairwoman Sabine Constabel and Swedish sex work researcher Susanne Dodillet on the topic „A right to Sex? Liberal and Nordic prostitution models in comparison“. You can find the complete conversation (in German) on my YouTube channel, on Vimeoand on my videos.

The conversation took place in February of this year, but the issues are unfortunately still highly relevant, as can be seen from the current push by the CDU-party.

While another year of the pandemic and thus even more difficult conditions for people in sex work is coming to an end, politicians from the CDU women-union are pushing for a blanket ban on our work and a criminalization of our clients. The very people who were and still are particularly affected by the consequences of Corona are supposed to either change to a lower-paid job or disappear completely from the scene in Germany. Of course, this is supposed to be „for their own good“.

Unfortunately, this is not new – time and again German politicians discuss a sex purchase ban based on the Swedish or Nordic model. A popular argument is that a ban on the purchase of sexual services „only“ fights sex work itself and the customers, but at the same time paradoxically „protects“ sex workers themselves.

In fact, sex workers are made unemployed by a sex purchase ban and the way they have chosen/are able to earn (enough) money is snatched away from them. Support for people who continue to engage in sex work and do not want to or cannot „save“ or „retrain“ themselves is criminalized. Blatantly missing: Right to self-determination, understanding of capitalism, knowledge about labor migration.

Organizations that are AGAINST the Nordic Model include: The World Health Organization, the German Institute for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, German AIDS Service Organisation,Social Welfare Organisation of Germany’s Protestant Churches, German Female Lawyers Society, German Women’s Council, German STI-Society and The Network Against Trafficking in Human Beings.