Target: Zurich Social Welfare Department
Goal: Applaud the development of sex-boxes to protect prostitutes in Zurich
Prostitution is a legal, thriving business in Switzerland’s largest city, and has been since 1942. It’s the law that was lacking, say Zurich city officials, whose pilot project to set up garage-like “sex boxes” in Zurich suburbs seeks to address the little protection current regulations gave the women. By social workers’ accounts for BBC News, the sex trade in the city center is dangerous for sex workers, and the “lively” business has left a number of local residents “unhappy.”
Enter street-side sex boxes – gated, guarded parks with 9 private parking sites and equipped with alarm systems in each venue, showers, and a workers’ lounge. As part of the measure, street-soliciting will be prohibited. Instead, between the hours of 7 PM and 5 AM, prostitutes with a Swiss work permit, sex worker license, and health insurance may pay a tax of $5.40 for each night of work at the venue, according to the LA Times. Abiding by these guidelines, they may then access adjoining sidewalks and after negotiating prices, direct their customers to the drive-in units.
Secured by a 53% voter approval, the project offers greater protection to prostitutes by not leaving the workers to the mercy of a client and repositioning the industry away from the city center, where workers are more likely to be drawn into drug use and other illicit activities. One news video covering the project shows condom-promoting signs within the units and others advertising the park to the 18 or older crowd only. Trees, benches, and café tables strewn with lights add visual appeal to a project costing $400,000 – much lower than the voter-approved $2.6 million budget.
Zurich voters have approved the measure. Now customers must do the same. By signing the petition below, you can support the Zurich Social Welfare Department’s efforts to make a local industry safer and give workers the protection they need and deserve.
Dear Zurich Social Welfare Department,
I would like to thank you for your development of sex boxes to protect local prostitutes in your city. You demonstrate progressive leadership in caring for this often stigmatized community, investing earnestly to protect their health, safety, and well-being. Furthermore, securing a 53% voter approval for the facility and staying remarkably under the approved budget were no small tasks, and I applaud your initiative and persistence in seeing the project through to completion.
The detail and thoroughness of the facility’s planning is truly commendable. Placement of the facility away from the city center, the venue’s gated, guarded nature plus the provision of alarms in each unit makes for a safer work environment. Trees, benches, and café tables strewn with lights soften the ambiance, key to offering workers and customers a comfortable experience. I wish the project all the best. Thank you for making a local industry safer and for giving workers the protection they need and deserve.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com