WEIGHT: 62 kg
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The Swiss government says it is against outlawing prostitution or the buying of sexual services, but has proposed measures to better protect sex workers and to fight against human trafficking. A page report by the Federal Office of Police external link was ordered by the cabinet after the prostitution issue and what to do about it was raised several times in parliament. Prostitution has been legal and regulated in Switzerland since However, street prostitution is illegal, except in specially designated areas in major cities.
Experience from abroad shows that a ban on prostitution is not the solution, the government said. Studies from other countries have shown that this usually leads to the criminalisation of prostitutes or prostitution going underground. Complementary measures usually produce more success, a statement said on Friday external link.
The situation in Sweden and the United States, both of which have partially banned prostitution, remains difficult, the report noted. It is also difficult to fully estimate the extent of prostitution and human trafficking with the intent to sexually exploit victims in Switzerland because there are no reliable figures, the authors said. This situation should be improved, the report found. Other goals include allowing prostitutes better access to health services and more legal measures to protect sex workers.
These measures should have the effect of reducing or at least not encouraging prostitution. Also mooted is clamping down on abuse within the industry as well as in people trafficking. Cantons would be responsible for carrying out these goals, the report noted. They can draw up measures against violence or issue instructions about health checks.
In Italian-speaking Ticino became the first canton to draw up a law on prostitution, outlawing the exercising of this profession in areas that compromise public order. Zurich city has introduced sex boxes for street prostitutes, which it claims have improved working conditions for those concerned.