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Zurich's drive-thru brothels have been hailed a success by Swiss social services, a year after they first opened. The experiment in Switzerland's largest city began last August when the authorities opened Europe's first municipal drive-in brothel in an old industrial area. It was hoped the initiative would slash the number of sex workers on the streets, while at the same time offering them a safer space to work. But not all of them are happy with the arrangements. Scroll down foe video. Two empty so-called 'sex boxes' at Zurich's sex drive-in, which has been hailed a success by Swiss social services one year after it first opened in an industrial site in the west of the city.
A prostitute looks at the facilities: Sex workers agreeing to take part in the scheme have to get a permit and pay tax to avail of the drive-in's creature comforts, which include a laundry, showers and cafe. Authorities admitted that some have complained their earnings have fallen since the new initiative began, and that they are too far from city centre bars and clubs. Zurich's drive-thru brothel opened last August, with sex workers who agreed to move from their traditional haunts in the city centre allowed to ply their trade there safely and with a minimum of fuss.
The site to the west of the city boasts helpful signposts and understated wooden drive-in 'sex boxes' where customers can be served in relative privacy in the comfort of their own cars. Sex workers agreeing to take part in the scheme did, however, have to get a permit and pay tax to avail of the drive-in's creature comforts, which include a laundry, showers and cafe. A helpful pictogram informs any passers-by of exactly what happens at the site.
They didn't have much choice in the matter. At the same time, Zurich launched a crackdown on unregulated prostitution and confined the oldest trade to just the drive-thru and two other zones. City are officials are pleased with the results. Social services said that as well as protecting prostitutes, few neighbours were bothered by the comings and goings at the drive-in in the Altstetten district.
No increase in street walkers had been noticed in the two other districts of the city where prostitution is tolerated, they said. At the same time as opening the brothel and licensing two other parts of the city as paid-for sex zones, Zurich's authorities curtailed the sex trade across the rest of the city. Picture posed by models.