With a significant majority, the National Council supports Switzerland’s liberal prostitution model. There is still work to be done by the federal government and the cantons.
Prostitutes can legally and publicly offer their services in Switzerland. They could, however, be better protected.
Since 1942, prostitution has been legal in Switzerland and it will continue to be so. On Wednesday, the National Council strongly rejected a proposal asking for the implementation of the so-called Nordic model, which penalizes anybody who buys sex in Sweden, Norway and more recently, France. Clients, not prostitutes, are subject to arrest.
Switzerland, on the other hand, follows a permissive approach to prostitution. Sex work is defined as job that is regulated by the government.
Women (and men) who work in this field are protected by the government laws of legalization. Pimps, aggressive customers and landlords who demand outrageous charges cannot easily abuse someone who works legitimately. Everyone who works legally and pays taxes has the right to go to the police for protection or to the doctor for treatment. On the other side, if prostitution is banned, exploitation and human trafficking are made much easier, even if it goes underground as in the Nordic model.
For years, experts have claimed that investigations against prostitution are insufficient
It is well known that such crimes are notoriously difficult to detect. Despite of all the transparency, it is impossible to verify whether human trafficking and forced prostitution are truly prevented in Switzerland.
They are not a top priority for the cops, who are already complaining about a shortage of resources. As a result, critics suggest that human traffickers gain from legal prostitution rather than clandestine prostitution.
In order to avoid this, regular police work is required. Experts have been criticizing for years that the investigation and punishment of criminal charges involving prostitution are insufficient. Furthermore, there are little resources available to protect sex workers from assault, improve their health, or allow them to quit the industry. The Swiss model should be reinforced by the federal government and cantons doing far more to prevent sex trade abuses.
It is better to work in legal brothels in Vienna
The situation is quite good for prostitutes in Switzerland in Austria. The latter country strictly regulates its sex market, the sex workers must have regular health checks, licence from the police and there are a lot of legal brothels in every cities.
Especially Vienna is considered one of the main sex hubs of Europe, with well-known classic sex clubs, sauna clubs and smaller brothels. If sex workers work in such places, they are protected by professional management, body guards and rooms equipped with alarm systems.
We covered a lot of news where illegal or indie prostitutes, who were not protected by brothel staff, were attacked:
According to Ella Networks, a lot of prostitutes were killed in Bavaria in past 20 years: In Bavaria, at least fifteen prostitutes have been murdered
Prostitutes were attacked and raped in Bochum: Stories of prostitutes being assaulted at a brothel and illegal prostitution
An indie sex worker was attacked in her hotel room during work: Assault on a sex worker in Cala Ratjada for no explicable reason
Sex Work Forum
Our partner site, Sex Vienna has a well-maintained forum section, where you can discuss every aspects of the Vienna sex market. If you are a sex worker, there is a dedicated thread to ask your questions as well.
Here you can find the forum main page: Sex Vienna Forum
Here you can find the dedicated thread for questions: Sex Workers – Ask your questions here