• Switzerland's news in English
 

Zurich unveils 'sex boxes' for prostitutes

AFP · 15 Aug 2013, 21:05

Published: 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.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Diver dies in Lake Geneva near shipwreck
Photo: AFP/File

Diver dies in Lake Geneva near shipwreck
20 minutes ago

A 44-year-old diver from the canton of Vaud died after plunging into Lake Geneva near the site of a shipwreck from the 19th century, police say.

Hingis and Bencic propel Swiss into Fed Cup semifinals
Swiss FedCup tennis team captain Heinz Günthardt takes selfie with (from left) Bencic, Bacsinszky, Viktorija Golubic and Hingis. Photo: DPA/AFP

Hingis and Bencic propel Swiss into Fed Cup semifinals
2 hours ago

Martina Hingis rolled back the years on Sunday as her doubles win alongside Belinda Bencic sealed a 3-2 victory over Germany to put Switzerland in the Fed Cup semifinals for the first time since 1998.

Gut and Janka bounce back with super-G victories
(From left) Germany's Rebensburg, former Austrian skier Nicole Hosp, Gut and Vonn pose for photo during the winners' ceremony for the super-G on Sunday. Photo: Christof Stache/AFP

Gut and Janka bounce back with super-G victories
4 hours ago

Swiss skiers Lara Gut and Carlo Janka bounced back on Sunday from earlier setbacks to claim Super-G victories in Germany and South Korea respectively.

Blatter 'will attend Fifa appeal hearing': lawyer
Blatter's hearing is scheduled 24 hours after that of fallen Uefa president Michel Platini. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Blatter 'will attend Fifa appeal hearing': lawyer
1 day ago

Suspended Fifa president Sepp Blatter will attend his February 16th appeal hearing against an eight-year ban from football, his spokesman confirmed on Friday.

UN panel calls for Assange to be freed
Photo: David G. Silvers

UN panel calls for Assange to be freed
2 days ago

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by both Sweden and Britain, says a Geneva-based UN panel, which called on both countries to release him and pay him compensation.

Lausanne cathedral packed for top chef's funeral
Photo: Laurent Gillieron/Pool/AFP

Lausanne cathedral packed for top chef's funeral
2 days ago

More than 1,500 people filled Lausanne's cathedral on Friday for the funeral of Benoît Violier, the top French-Swiss chef who died in an apparent suicide.

Julius Bär bank to pay US $547 million over tax fraud
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Julius Bär bank to pay US $547 million over tax fraud
2 days ago

Swiss private bank Julius Bär says it has finalized an agreement with US authorities, paying $547 million to end a criminal investigation into claims that it helped rich Americans dodge taxes.

Skier dies after missing turn at Toggenburg
Skiers at Toggenburg. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Skier dies after missing turn at Toggenburg
2 days ago

A 47-year-old man has died after failing to negotiate a turn while skiing at Toggenburg in eastern Switzerland.

New rail tunnel proposed under an Alpine pass
Rendition showing crosscut view of proposed tunnel. Photo: Canton of Valais

New rail tunnel proposed under an Alpine pass
2 days ago

Yet another Alpine railway tunnel is in the works for Switzerland — but this one would also carry electrical transmission lines.

UN tells France to enforce smacking ban
Photo: AFP

UN tells France to enforce smacking ban
2 days ago

France, which has come under fire for not fully banning smacking, must "explicitly prohibit" all forms of corporal punishment of children, says a UN report that criticized its treatment of Roma and asylum-seeking minors.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
National
'World's best chef' commits suicide in village near Lausanne
Features
Zurich celebrates centennial of quirky Dada artistic movement
Education
Children in village school told to speak German or pay 'penalty'
Features
Swiss provide multiple resources to support 'sexy' startup trend
National
Swiss citizens to vote this summer on guaranteed income for all
Culture
Geneva authorities back art museum expansion with Jean Nouvel design
National
Luxury hotel conversion in Vevey runs into financial trouble
National
World Economic Forum: Davos soldiers test positive for cocaine use
Switzerland had secret 'peace deal' with PLO to prevent attacks
Technology
VIDEO: Drone takes you to the heart of a Swiss glacier
Business & Money
Leonardo DiCaprio in Davos slams 'greed' of fossil-fuel industry
National
Miniature scale model of city of Geneva goes on public display
International
Politician and ex-head of Swiss Post among dead in Burkina Faso attack
National
Revealed: Swiss authorities strip refugees of cash and valuables
National
Spectacular video of avalanche near Zermatt illustrates dangers
Business & Money
GE announces plans to slash 1,300 Swiss jobs at Alstom plants
Sport
Fifa museum set to open in Zurich next month as scandal continues
National
Is climate change ruining skiing at resorts in the Swiss Alps?
Culture
Bowie's discreet two decades in Switzerland remembered
National
Switzerland's unemployment rate surges to highest level in five years
National
'Excellent' Swiss wine touted for 2015 vintages despite lower production
National
Medieval Swiss lakeside town plans 'spectacular' festival of lights
Technology
Zurich and Lausanne institutes of technology launch 43 startups
4,428
jobs available