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Germany under fire over World Cup prostitution

Germany under fire over World Cup prostitution
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With one month to go before the World Cup finals in Germany, everything is in place, and that includes specially-built brothels.

Prostitution was legalised in Germany in 2002.

The Pascha, in Cologne, is Europe’s largest brothels and employs some of Germany’s 400,000 sex workers.

Its boss cannot wait for the World Cup and the arrival of hundreds of thousands of men from abroad.

He says: “We hope there’ll be lots of people. Many people are going to visit Cologne and so many clients will visit our establishment, and we’re getting ready.”

Alongside the so-called mega-brothels, Germany has allowed smaller “sex huts” to be put up near match venues and will even issue special permits for street prostitutes.

The influx of football fans has raised fears of an increase in forced prostitution.

Police think 40,000 women from poor Eastern European countries could head to Germany- meaning that alongside the merchandise sellers, human traffickers will also be cashing in.

The president of the German Soccer Federation has lent his support to an anti-trafficking campaign called “Final Whistle-Stop Forced Prostitution,” drawn up by various women’s groups.

Posters will be put up in trains, bars and toilets.

The European Parliament’s also held a seminar called “show the red card to forced prostitution”.

While that may not directly help the women involved, other planned measures might do, such as an emergency phone line staffed by people speaking languages such as Russian, Ukrainian and Romanian.

Meanwhile Sweden wants Germany to suspend the legalisation of prostitution during the World Cup.

Swedish Justice Minister Thomas Bodstroem says: “There’s so much money involved that dishonest people are bound to try to exploit young women.”

Berlin denies subsidising new brothels and condoning human trafficking. But the chairman of the global human rights subcommittee in the US Congress says Germany should be reclassified as a serious trafficking violator unless new steps are taken before June 9.