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.
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Greek debt crisis is “absolute supremacy of capital over humans”
- 3[Live updates] NGO flotilla bids to break Israeli blockade of Gaza
- 4[LIVE UPDATES] Greek debt deadline looms
- 5Large Hadron Collider ready to embark on an unprecedented voyage of discovery
- 6Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 7[LIVE UPDATES] France: man decapitated, several wounded in chemical plant attack
- 8Israel prepares to repel boarders as ‘Freedom Flotilla 3’ tries to run Gaza blockade
- 9Greek debt summit – Live updates
- 10Seven reasons why Yanis Varoufakis is now a political legend
- 11‘Distractingly sexy’ scientists hit back in lab chemistry polemic
- 12Greece votes ‘No’ in overwhelming rejection of bailout proposals
- 13NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 14Greek debt: who will pay if Greece fails?
- 15Summit up in Brussels as Greek proposals give food for thought and rumours fly
- 16Battle of Waterloo, live-tweeting 200 years on
- 17Greek PM faces day of crucial bailout talks in Brussels
- 18Spain’s first case of diphtheria in 30 years: parents of six-year-old ‘oppose vaccines’
- 19Citizens take power in Spain’s largest cities as a political revolution sweeps the country
- 20Italy discovers biggest illegal waste dump in Europe
Wires > News
- 17:15 CET Bomb kills dozens in north Nigeria, gunmen open fire on crowd
- 17:13 CET Pakistan kills leader of anti-Shi’ite militants in southwest
- 17:10 CET U.S. only training 60 Syrian fighters, far below expectations
- 17:00 CET Sponsors of Colombian peace talks worry over escalation of war
- 16:38 CET Cartoonist cyber-bullied as Greek politics turn sour
- 15:49 CET Turning 18, Malala says she’ll remain ‘voice of children’
- 15:11 CET Six powers and Iran to continue nuclear talks past deadline – EU
- 15:09 CET Brazil’s Rousseff tells paper she is uncowed by opposition calls…