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Prostitution is Switzerland with sex workers required to register with local authorities and pay taxes. But while Bern is currently home to 28 licensed brothels, this number is sinking and there is growing opposition to plans for new establishments. At the same time, there is a rise in the number of sex workers temporarily renting out apartments using sites like Airbnb, as Bern daily newspaper Der Bund reports.
Zurich's 'sex boxes' for prostitutes given official thumbs up. There were 12 reported cases in the canton of Bern from April to April , although the real number is thought to be much higher. But Bern cantonal parliamentarian Christa Ammann, who heads up a specialist unit conducting research into the sex industry, says rules introduced in requiring brothels to register have made sex work more expensive.
The latest annual report into sex work in the city notes prostitutes are required from to Swiss francs a day to rent a room in a legal brothel. However, there are dozens of apartments listed on Airbnb for less than this amount. The trend towards the use of private apartments for sex work runs counter to the intention of rule changes in Bern in which are designed to protect prostitutes from abuse and exploitation. Eighty Thai women forced into prostitution in Switzerland. Prostitution is legal in Switzerland although individual cantons have different rules on where and when it can be practised.
Forcing someone into prostitution is, however, illegal. Recently, a women's rights group in Zurich called for a Swedish-style ban on sex work in Switzerland, using the video above in its campaign. In the Scandinavian country, it is illegal to pay for sex with clients. But groups in Switzerland including the Swiss Aids Federation have said such a ban on prostitution would drive sex work underground and make the fight against exploitation of women even more difficult.
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