Friday, August 30, 2013

Sex Boxes in Zurich


The Frau almost made the international news on Monday night when an editor at The Wall Street Journal contacted her to discuss Zurich’s latest development in prostitution: the sex boxes in Zurich Alstetten. These opened for the first time on Monday night, giving prostitutes a legal place to do their business. If you haven’t seen photos of them, imagine a bunch of Swiss bus stops made out of wood and put in a line back to back. Or see a photo and read more about them here.

Anyway, why The Frau of all people was contacted to talk about prostitution in Zurich is yet to be determined, but in any case, she missed her chance since it was her “big mom night out” and she was swimming at Zurich’s Hallenbad.

But it got her thinking about Zurich’s new sex boxes and stark difference in the way the Swiss have reacted to them in comparison with the rest of the world.

On Monday, the topic of Swiss sex boxes was featured in about every paper around the world—with the exception many Swiss ones. Even Blick am Abend, the local Swiss tabloid that loves sex like no other newspaper, had no mention of the sex boxes in its Monday evening edition. Instead, Lady Gaga graced the cover.

The NZZ, the Zurich equivalent of The Wall Street Journal, had an article about the sex boxes—but it was regarding the rest of the world’s fascination with them.

Here’s the thing, Rest Of The World: For the Swiss, sex boxes aren’t a new discussion. They are a practical solution to an old problem.  While the rest of the world is making jokes or pushing taboo problems further under the rug, the Swiss are making both their own neighborhoods and the world’s oldest profession safer.

The Swiss are matter-a-fact and realistic. They engineer everything—even prostitution. While the rest of the world is tittering over this so-called “taboo topic” like teenagers, the Swiss have moved on to conquering the next one through referendums.

To the Swiss way of thinking—people will do “taboo” things no matter what. Better to legalize them and make them safe then pretend they don’t exist or spend millions putting people in prison for them. There's a reason there isn't much crime in Switzerland. It's because the Swiss give people safe places to do so-called illicit things. As a foreigner in Switzerland, The Frau can’t vote. But if she could, it would give a big “yes” to most of these progressive ideas. Yes- Give the prostitutes beds with policemen and social workers nearby. Yes- Give the druggies clean needs. And yes- Give the people who want to die access to the drugs to be able to do so. 

What do you think of Switzerland's legal activities?

13 comments:

Martin said...

Why Swiss media did not cover the story that thoroughly on the day of opening is easily explained: They did it previously, many times, over weeks, months, years. This is one major aspect of direct democracy: media will (have to) cover any political issue thoroughly in order to fulfil their task to inform the public.

Here just a single example:

Tages-Anzeiger newspaper (only a selection of many, many more articles in the very same newspaper!):



25.08.2010: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Leupi-studiert-in-Deutschland-Sexboxen/story/16750369?dossier_id=702

30.08.2010: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Die-offene-ProstituiertenSzene-am-Zuercher-Sihlquai-/story/18389417?dossier_id=702

16.09.2010: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/In-Koeln-bewaehren-sich-die-Sexboxen/story/11982755?dossier_id=702

20.09.2010: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/Warum-Sexboxen-in-Zuerich-scheitern-koennten/story/26857324?dossier_id=702

05.10.2010: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/Sihlquai-Stadt-will-Bevoelkerung-vor-Geschlechtskrankheiten-schuetzen/story/31648869?dossier_id=702

11.10.2010: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Widerstand-gegen-Sexboxen-in-der-Brunau/story/30052727?dossier_id=702

05.12.2010: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Daniel-Leupi-bricht-mit-einem-Tabu/story/12709319?dossier_id=702

19.01.2011: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Nur-mit-Versicherung-an-den-Sihlquai/story/23113574?dossier_id=702

13.04.2011: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Prostituierte-befriedigen-Freier-wieder-am-anderen-Ufer/story/20842655?dossier_id=702

21.04.2011: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/ProstituiertenRekord-auf-dem-Sihlquai/story/18431927?dossier_id=702

20.05.2011 (announcement about Zurich's executive presentation of the "new prostitution policy" the coming week): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/15-Minuten-am-Sihlquai/story/30078914?dossier_id=702

--> 23.05.2011: Zurich's executive (Stadtrat) presentation of the "new prostitution policy" <--

25.05.2011: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/Altstetten-statt-Sihlquai-Hirnrissig/story/29410517?dossier_id=702

26.05.2011: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Zuercher-Strassenstrich-Drei-Zonen-fuer-Sexboxen-Autos-und-Fussgaenger/story/30897754

26.05.2011: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Weshalb-Sexboxen-das-ZuhaelterProblem-nicht-loesen-werden/story/27830956?dossier_id=702

27.05.2011: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Hohe-Huerden-fuer-die-Sexboxen/story/13194007?dossier_id=702

Martin said...

17.06.2011: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Warum-es-am-Sihlquai-weniger-Frauen-hat/story/27763862?dossier_id=702

05.07.2011: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/Sexboxen-in-Altstetten-Der-beste-Ort/story/19090261?dossier_id=702

23.08.2011 (public rejection about building decision): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/22-Betroffene-erwaegen-Rekurs-gegen-Sexboxen/story/28307161?dossier_id=702

08.09.2011 (decision by Zurich's parliament commission): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Fast-alle-wollen-die-Sexboxen/story/13867298?dossier_id=702

--> 14.09.2011: Gemeinderat, Zurich's parliament, approves to finance the sexboxes <--

15.09.2011 (Zurich's parliament approves the sexbox credit): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Gemeinderat-will-10-Sexboxen/story/26373561

22.09.2011 (the local party SVP objects the decision --> starts to collect public signatures --> referendum): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/SVP-sammelt-Unterschriften-gegen-Sexboxen/story/14216963?dossier_id=702

--> 14.11.2011: decision has to go public: vote necessary <--

15.11.2011 (SVP's public referendum about sexbox decision by Zurich's parliament is valid --> public vote becomes necessary!): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Stimmvolk-entscheidet-ueber-die-Sexboxen/story/16105794?dossier_id=702

28.11.2011: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Parlament-verzichtet-auf-kantonales-StrassenstrichGesetz/story/30808913?dossier_id=702

28.11.2011: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/Zuerichs-traurigste-Treppe/story/16905831?dossier_id=702

04.01.2012: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Interessengemeinschaft-bekaempft-die-Sexboxen/story/31637787

31.01.2012: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Das-waere-sehr-schlimm-fuer-uns/story/24330466

26.01.2012: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Fuer-60-Franken-auf-den-Strich/story/26971070?dossier_id=702

24.02.2012: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Die-Stadt-vergleicht-Sexboxen-mit-Autowaschanlagen-/story/26851125

25.02.2012: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Das-Problem-wird-nur-verlagert-nicht-geloest/story/11229813?dossier_id=702

--> 10./11.03.2012: Voting weekend <--

10.03.2012 (last info before voting closure): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/Pionierbau-Sexboxen-und-Buergerrechtsgesetz/story/26543577

11.03.2012 (the result of the public vote): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Sexboxen-526-Prozent-Ja-Anwohner-dagegen/story/14648565

11.03.2012 (after-vote discussion): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/Fuenf-Franken-Miete-fuer-die-Sexboxen-sind-zu-wenig/story/28299714

12.03.2012 (after-vote discussion): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Meine-Aussagen-waren-missverstaendlich-und-ungenau/story/31380865

Martin said...

26.11.2012: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Strassenprostitution-nur-noch-an-drei-Orten/story/12145343

28.11.2012: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Schade-faellt-der-Strich-am-Sihlquai-weg/story/14787966?dossier_id=702

08.08.2013 (after a rejection of a official complaint): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/SexboxenEntscheid-definitiv/story/13153499

16.08.2013 (previously to the public "open door" day on 24.08.2013): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/Neun-Boxen-zwei-Stehplaetze-und-vier-Wohnwagen-fuer-Sex/story/29460190

24.08.2013: "open door" … public pre-opening visits by the public

25.08.2013 (after "open door" visits by the public): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/stadt/Das-Interesse-am-neuen-Strichplatz-ist-gross/story/15837056?dossier_id=702

--> 26.08.2013: opening of the sex boxes <--

26.08.2013 (on the opening day!): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/Wir-werden-nicht-zulassen-dass-aus-der-Brunau-ein-Sihlquai-wird/story/26067625

27.08.2013 (after-opening discussion): http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/Sieben-Frauen-wurden-bereits-gebuesst/story/12454612?dossier_id=702




And here the link of the whole "Dossier" by Tages-Anzeiger: http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/dossiers/zuerich/dossier2.html?dossier_id=702


The coverage by Swiss television SRF: http://www.srf.ch/sendungen/srf-4-aktuell/sexboxen-fuer-frauen-besser-als-die-arbeit-auf-der-strasse


… and these are just a few examples!

Hattie said...

I prefer the Swedish solution. Buying sex has been illegal there since 1999.

Martin said...

Well Hattie, and this is exactly the reason why

- prostitutes gets thoroughly exploited - even more misused - by pimps and clients (keywords: murders, human trafficking, …)
- why security for the women who cannot work anything else is almost not existent
- why health of the women working there is at large danger … and also the health of the public, because men who goes to prostitutes do not only have sexual intercourse with them, but also e.g. with their wife … which is a good source to spread out diseases onto the whole population
- why prostitutes can hardly afford or apply health treatments (here in Switzerland, they have a health insurance requested by law!) and therefore accelerate the distribution of diseases even more
- why illegal activities are even more accelerated (too poor income, working in illegal environments and on illegal status, have to hide their children etc. etc.)

.. and many more bad habits to the disadvantage and decrease in security of the whole population. In other words: to criminalize prostitution is exactly and simply the worst and most stupid way how to handle it.

… and the very reason why there rare so many unresolvable direct and indirect problems around this issue in countries such as USA and Sweden.

-------

One 1990 study estimated the annual prevalence of full-time equivalent prostitutes in the United States to be 23 per 100,000 population based on a capture–recapture study of prostitutes found in Colorado Springs, CO, police and sexually transmitted diseases clinic records between 1970 and 1988.[21]

A continuation of the Colorado Springs study[22] found a death rate among active prostitutes of 459 per 100,000, which is 5.9 times that for the (age and race adjusted) general population. This corresponds to an occupational fatality rate more than triple that of fishing workers (the highest fatality profession tracked by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Among voluntary substance abuse program participants, 41.4% of women and 11.2% of men reported selling prostitution services during the last year (March 2008).[23]

In Newark, New Jersey, one report claims 57 percent of prostitutes are reportedly HIV-positive, and in Atlanta, 12 percent of prostitutes are possibly HIV-positive.[24]

A 2004 TNS poll reported 15 percent of all men have paid for sex and 30 percent of single men over age 30 have paid for sex.[25]

Over 200 men answered ads placed in Chicago area sex service classifieds for in depth interviews. Of these self-admitted "johns", 83% view buying sex as a form of addiction, 57% suspect that the women they paid were abused as children, and 40% said they are usually intoxicated when they purchase sex.[26]

The prostitution trade in the United States is estimated to generate $14 billion a year.[27]

Anonymous said...

I really hope this comment was a joke, Hattie!

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