German agency cancels prostitution how-to guide

10th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 April 2006, BERLIN - German's main development agency, GTZ, said Saturday it was no longer distributing a Ukrainian-language brochure after discovering that it contained advice on how to earn a living by prostitution. Worried that large numbers of Ukrainian women were being tricked into sex work in Germany, the GTZ published the frank document in March 2005 to warn them. But critics said it read like a compendium of tips on the trade. Confirming a report to appear Sunday in the newspaper Welt am Sonntag

10 April 2006

BERLIN - German's main development agency, GTZ, said Saturday it was no longer distributing a Ukrainian-language brochure after discovering that it contained advice on how to earn a living by prostitution.

Worried that large numbers of Ukrainian women were being tricked into sex work in Germany, the GTZ published the frank document in March 2005 to warn them. But critics said it read like a compendium of tips on the trade.

Confirming a report to appear Sunday in the newspaper Welt am Sonntag, GTZ said, "The publication was withdrawn several weeks ago at the request of State Secretary Erich Stather because of editorial and technical inadequacies."

Stather is a senior official of the Development Aid Ministry in Berlin. The GTZ, an incorporated company, is the ministry's trading arm which employs aid experts and conducts most aid projects.

The newspaper said the GTZ only acted after pressure from police.

One passage in the Guidebook to Germany for Women noted that it was legal to work in Germany as a prostitute "but unfortunately this only applies to people who obtain work and residence permits, for example through marriage."

The German Interior Ministry, which is battling human trafficking, felt the word "unfortunately" was inappropriate, the newspaper said.

Among other criticisms, set out in a letter by Interior Ministry State Secretary August Hanning last month, was that the brochure adopted a casual tone towards breaches of German law such as illegal entry via smugglers' paths.

"It notes that immigration over the so-called green frontier is something a lot of women do," said the Hanning letter as quoted in the paper. "It says that illegal residents can't really expect police help because the police have to see that you leave Germany."

GTZ said Saturday the brochure was meant to offer practical advice to women who got into prostitution and needed to know their rights.

"We regret its over-hasty publication," said GTZ, adding it had funded the brochure itself. "We do still believe that helping the victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution is a necessary and important task."

Germany has grown sensitive about the trafficking issue after calls from Swedish commentators in recent weeks for prostitution to be banned during the football World Cup in June and July.

DPA

Subject: German news

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