• Switzerland edition
 
Zurich unveils 'sex boxes' for prostitutes
Photo: City of Zurich

Zurich unveils 'sex boxes' for prostitutes

Published: 15 Aug 2013 21:05 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Aug 2013 21:05 GMT+02:00

Due to be opened officially in a ceremony on August 26th, the nine so-called "sex boxes" are located in a former industrial zone in the west of the metropolis, the city said.
   
The site will be open daily from 7pm to 5am, and only to drivers, who must be alone in their vehicle if they want to pass the gate.
   
Echoing a fast-food drive-in, they will have to follow a marked route along which up to 40 prostitutes will be stationed.

Once they have negotiated a rate, they will drive to one of the nine car-wash style boxes to have sex.
   
The boxes will be equipped with alarms, allowing the prostitutes to make rapid contact with police if they are in danger.
   
With over 1.8 million people, the Zurich conurbation makes up almost a quarter of Switzerland's population, and the city itself has long been home to a red-light district.
   
But with local residents fed up of prostitutes and clients plying the streets, notably along the riverside Sihlquai, the authorities decided to try to shift the sex trade from the city centre.
   
In addition, officials have said that they want to ensure the safety of prostitutes, stem trafficking by crime networks and reduce the role of the underground sex trade.
   
The sex-box plan was approved by Zurich's voters in March 2012 -- referendums from the local to the national level are the bedrock of Switzerland's system of direct democracy.
   
Work on the new site cost 2.1 million francs ($2.2 million), below the voter-approved budget, while running costs are expected to be around 700,000 francs a year.
   
Zurich has spared no effort to encourage the prostitutes and their clients to leave the city centre and use the new site, making it as pleasant as possible, with grassy areas and decorative lights.
   
It will be marked clearly with signposts sporting a red umbrella, a well-known symbol for the sex trade notably in eastern Europe.
   
To avoid putting off clients, city authorities said they had no plans to install video surveillance or deploy police at the site permanently.
   
Social workers and security guards will be on hand, however.
   
The sex-box plan is just one of a series of measures in Zurich to deal with prostitution, which is legal in Switzerland.
   
Since January, prostitutes have been required to obtain a permit to ply their trade.

To receive one, they must have a Swiss work permit and health insurance.
   
In addition, they must pay a tax of five Swiss francs per night of work.
   
Clients, meanwhile, can only seek sex in three designated areas of Zurich — the new sex-box site, a zone near a highway, and, for those on foot, in part of the old town district.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Switzerland fêtes 100 years of national park
The Swiss National Park was created in 1914. Photo: Caroline Bishop

Switzerland fêtes 100 years of national park

The village of Zernez in the canton of Graubünden will lead celebrations for the 100th birthday of Switzerland’s only national park on August 1st, Swiss National Day. READ  

Geneva Conventions talks tabled for Palestine
Burkhalter and Abbas meet on a state visit in 2013. Photo: AFP Photo/Abbas Momani

Geneva Conventions talks tabled for Palestine

The Swiss foreign ministry said on Wednesday it is in talks about holding an international conference sought by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas focusing on protecting civilians in Gaza. READ  

Swiss man arrested in India over Maoist links
The man was detained in Kerala, India. Photo: Vinoth Chandar

Swiss man arrested in India over Maoist links

Authorities in India arrested a 24-year-old Geneva man on Monday after he attended a memorial for a communist activist in Kerala. READ  

Federer forced to tear down kids' play area
The star has an ongoing dispute with his neighbours. Photo: Sang Tan/Pool/AFP

Federer forced to tear down kids' play area

Authorities have demanded that Swiss tennis champ Roger Federer remove a children’s play area in the garden of his holiday home after neighbours objected. READ  

Zurich taxis charge world’s highest fares
Taxis in Zurich cost more than in 17 other major cities. Photo: eGuide Travel

Zurich taxis charge world’s highest fares

Taxis in Zurich are the most expensive in the world, according to a new survey. Hailing a cab in the Swiss city will cost you more than other major cities including Paris, London and New York. READ  

UBS turns in strong profits despite disputes
UBS achieved a 15 percent net profit rise. Photo: Martin Abegglan

UBS turns in strong profits despite disputes

Leading Swiss bank UBS turned in a strong profit performance in the second quarter, but highlighted on Tuesday the stark risks financial institutions face from campaigns by tax and regulatory bodies. READ  

Swiss-EU relations on discussion table in Rome
Burkhalter and Renzi are meeting in Rome. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Swiss-EU relations on discussion table in Rome

Switzerland’s relationship with the EU is on the agenda today as Swiss President Didier Burkhalter meets Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on an official visit to Rome. READ  

Swiss customers react to 1kg meat import limit
The regulations apply to fresh meat and charcuterie. Photo: Marijke Blazer

Swiss customers react to 1kg meat import limit

Butchers in Italian border towns have seen a 25 to 30 percent reduction in trade after a Swiss law limiting the importation of meat to one kilogramme came into force on July 1st. READ  

Basel dogs embark on National Day trip abroad
Give dogs a break this National Day, says TBB. Photo: Michael Gil

Basel dogs embark on National Day trip abroad

An animal protection group in Basel is organizing a holiday for dogs over the Swiss National Day long weekend in order to protect them from the trauma of fireworks. READ  

German starts solo Rhine swim in Switzerland
Money raised by the swim will go to university research into river pollutants. Photo: Jessica Gardner

German starts solo Rhine swim in Switzerland

A German chemistry professor started a gruelling four-week solo swim down the Rhine river on Monday for the benefit of science and the environment. Andreas Fath is the second swimmer to embark on the challenge in recent weeks after 46-year-old Swiss man Ernst Bromeis set off three weeks ago. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Tech
Hackers exploit 'holes' in Swiss online banking systems: IT experts
Sport
Video of Bern football player's spectacular own goal goes global
Tech
Switzerland stays on top of innovation rankings for fourth year
National
Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn play tennis at Jungfraujoch (VIDEOS)
Business & Money
Competition commission launches probe into Swiss car leasing 'fiddle'
Health
Down's syndrome cases in Switzerland more than double
National
American family files hefty lawsuit over deadly Swiss balloon crash
Features
Graubünden's panoramic Bernina Express celebrates rail history
National
Study rates Zurich as world's fifth most expensive city for expats
National
Swiss-based human brain project directors hit back at research critics
Business & Money
Switzerland gets the edge on EU with China free trade agreement
National
Entries for new Swiss national anthem competition swell over 200
National
Zurich-based helicopter firm denies role in Schumacher medical leak
Culture
Montreux Jazz Festival debuts live internet streaming of concerts
Features
Tour of Bern’s historic fountains tells story of Switzerland's capital
National
Swiss media lament football team's 'cruel' and 'bitter' defeat
International
The Local expands its reach with the launch of new website in Denmark
Sport
Jubilant press hails hat-trick hero Shaqiri as 'Swiss Messi'
National
New website study reveals inequality in Swiss disposable income
Travel
Switzerland’s largest ski area 4-Vallées breaks up over lift dispute
National
VIDEO: Zurich Zoo launches contest to name newborn baby elephant
Business & Money
CEO-to-worker pay gap grows at biggest Swiss firms: union study
Culture
VIDEO: Swiss performance artist plans naked stroll at Art Basel
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,198
jobs available