27/08/13 07:40 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
Zurich’s so-called drive-in ‘sex boxes’ opened for business on Monday and got off to a “promising start” according to Thomas Meier, a spokesman for the city’s social services.
Due to the large amount of public interest in the site Meier explained that “expectations were low for the first evening”. But, seemingly, not everyone was put off, with a few clients and around 30 prostitutes making use of the facilities on the first night.
The aim of the publicly funded experiment is to make prostitution safer. There are no surveillance cameras on site, although the sex workers do have a panic button and access to an on-site social worker.
Located in Altstetten in a former industrial area of the city, the project also hopes to take control of prostitution and move it out of the city centre.
The spokesman added that it could take weeks or months before the site is operational at the desired level because “prostitution is a business that requires a certain degree of confidentiality”. On the opening night only a handful of sex workers were seen in the first hour, likely intimidated by the presence of cameras and journalists.
The ‘sex-boxes’, which are accessible only to motorists, can accommodate up to 50 prostitutes and are open all night. There are also bathrooms, lockers, a laundry room and a shower available for use by the sex workers. They need a permit to use the facilities and will have to pay a small tax.
An organisation will also be on site daily to offer them counselling, medical advice and even German lessons.
Prostitution has been legal in Switzerland since 1942, but growing numbers of sex workers and violence attributed to the trade are beginning to cause problems in certain areas of the city, exasperating local residents.
- 1Leaders ‘influenced Putin’ over Savchenko release, say Ukraine pilot’s lawyers
- 2Third night of riots rock Barcelona’s Gràcia district
- 3Austria launches probe into alleged postal vote irregularities
- 4Groundbreaking study sheds light on Neanderthal life
- 5Faster internet speeds for Europe from Microsoft and Facebook
- 1The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 2Turkey warns EU migrant deal could collapse if visa-waiver isn’t speeded up
- 3Eurozone ministers agree “breakthrough” deal with Greece
- 4More fuel frustration as French pickets refuse to back down
- 5Ukrainian pilot Savchenko back in Kyiv after 2 years in Russian jail
- 1EgyptAir crash: airline says Flight MS804 wreckage found
- 2The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 3Venezuela economy fractured with shortages of essentials across the country
- 4Crimean Tatars look for Eurovision boost on day of national tragedy
- 5Emergency response: inside Ecuador’s disaster zones
Latest world news
New video footage: overcrowded migrant boat capsizing
Greek police clear Idomeni camp
Faster internet speeds for Europe from Microsoft and Facebook
Russia says Savchenko exchange deal was not linked to Minsk accords
Donald Trump wins enough delegates to clinch Republican nomination
Wires > News
- 04:12 CET After sea spat, China pledges deeper defence ties with Indonesia
- 04:08 CET El Salvador Congress approves $152 million bond issue to tackle…
- 04:01 CET Missing journalists held captive by Colombia’s ELN rebels -…
- 03:58 CET As ties deepen, elite U.S., Vietnam forces eye possible opening
- 03:20 CET South Korea fires warning shots after boats from North cross sea…
- 01:31 CET Judge seals all video depositions in Clinton email case -The Hill
- 01:30 CET France sends underwater probes to EgyptAir search zone
- 01:17 CET Panama’s top court seeks extradition of ex-president Martinelli…