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Drive-in prostitution project stalled in Zurich

Lyssandra Sears · 7 Mar 2012, 10:02

Published: 07 Mar 2012 10:59 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Mar 2012 10:02 GMT+01:00

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The Swiss People’s Party has launched a referendum to slow down the progress of the intended development in Zurich of drive-in postitution stalls.  

The City of Zurich wants to build a designated area for prostitution in an effort to clear the night workers from the stretch of the Sihl River that runs north of the city centre.

The numbers of prostitutes working along the stretch known as the Sihlquai has grown hugely in the past years and police are finding it hard to keep control, newspaper Tribune de Genève reported.

Local residents have complained of finding used condoms, tissues and other human waste every morning strewn about the area.

As a result, Zurich City Council wants to contain the activity by building a special drive-in area that allows customers to receive services on-site in Altstetten on the outskirts of the city. 

“The goal is that prostitution is now conducted in a controlled area, so that residents are less distracted and women better protected,” Martin Waser, from the Department of Social Welfare in Zurich told the newspaper.

But the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) believes that the initial outlay of 2.4 million francs ($2.6 million) and yearly land rental costs of 92,000 francs ($100,174) of taxpayers’ money should not be put to such uses.

Neither, says the SVP, should public money be used for the pleasure of just a few.

According to the SVP, the problem has increased because of unchecked migration from Eastern Europe.

Story continues below…

“The trade at Sihlquai has existed for decades without causing too many problems”, Zurich SVP member, Sven Oliver Dogwiler, told the newspaper.

“But since the entry into force of the free movement of people, countless prostitutes and pimps have arrived from Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. The idea of a drive-in just moves the problem.”

Both sides of the debate point to both successes and failures in Germany, which has established similar projects across the country. The issue will be put to the vote on Sunday.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

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Your comments about this article

2012-03-08 02:14:24 by Jeff10
License the prostitutes by requiring a license that's good for a certain duration - weeks, months, etc. Then use the license fees to finance the cost of setting up and maintaining this area, including the cost of any additional law enforcement. The fee could be set at an amount that also enough to cover the costs of periodic check ups for prostitutes. Require that each license be matched to a passport, but allow agents to buy the licenses on behalf of the prostitutes. During the check ups, the providers of this service could question prostitutes about their 'life' situation to ensure that they haven't been forced into prostitution. To this end, require that each prostitute must bring with her/him a passport when reporting for a check up. Then, arrest and fine unlicensed agents and prostitutes. So long as the fine is well in excess of the cost of a license, this should be viable. Penalties also could include incarceration and deportation for non-Swiss citizens who violate this law, with stiffer penalties for agents who violate the law. This should be the law in every country.
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