US criticises Germany over World Cup sex trade
6 June 2006, WASHINGTON - A higher demand for prostitution during the World Cup in Germany this month could increase illegal human trafficking and forced sex labour, the US government said Monday.
6 June 2006
WASHINGTON - A higher demand for prostitution during the World Cup in Germany this month could increase illegal human trafficking and forced sex labour, the US government said Monday.
"Due to the sheer size of the event, the potential for increased human trafficking surrounding the games remains a concern" despite the German government's effort to combat illegal sex trafficking, the US State Department said in an annual report.
John R Miller, the State Department's top advisor on trafficking in persons, told reporters the US government has raised its concerns with the German ambassador in Washington.
"There are reports of thousands of women being transported to Germany for sex during the World Cup," Miller said. "All the research and evidence available shows that when you have large flows of women for sexual purposes there is going to be trafficking."
Prostitution is permitted in regulated brothels in Germany, but many women operate illegally and without government licenses, in part because a large number of them come from Eastern Europe and do not have work permits. Others are victims of forced labour.
The State Department criticized Germany for legalizing prostitution, saying that brothels can contribute to "the phenomenon of trafficking in persons."
"The US government's position is that these activities should not be regulated as a legitimate form of work for any human being," the congressionally required report said.
The World Cup begins on Friday and lasts one month. Women from Eastern Europe are expected to flock to Germany to provide services to the 3 million visitors anticipated to attend football's biggest event.
Germany has been a destination for illegal sex workers who are often forced into the practice through sex rings based in Eastern Europe. There are an estimated 400,000 prostitutes in Germany.
Some French lawmakers and religious organizations have also protested the expected rise in prostitution during the 32-nation World Cup that will be played in 12 German cities. Most large German cities have approved brothels known as "Eros".
The report also criticized Germany's neighbour, the Netherlands, which is well known for its red-light district in Amsterdam and for legalizing prostitution.
"These activities are inherently harmful and dehumanizing," the report said.
Subject: German news