Before Christmas BILD Zeitung, The biggest newspaper in Germany, published a series of reports on the increase in human trading in the country.
Since the legalization of prostitution and organized operations connected with prostitution, such as pimping and brothels was introduced in 2002, the German sex trade has exploded. At the same time as this vast industry where at least 400.000 women “work”, organized crime has grown. Some of the biggest brothels in Germany are owned and controlled by criminal networks, who have reason to hide or obfuscate their organizations. Leaders from Hells Angels and Bandidos proudly pose for a picture from the reports about the brothel owners who cooperate in the running of these organizations in German cities.
The women on Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin’s streets and brothels are primarily from Ukraine, The Czech Republic and Romania. Christian Zahel, chief of the police unit working against organized crime says: “At least 9 out of 10 women who sell sex do it because they are forced to”. The cost of sex has also plummeted because of the increase in foreign prostitutes.
Germany is now openly discussing if the legalization of prostitution could actually have contributed to the increase in human trading. ”Deutschland is das Bordell Europas” ( Germany is Europe’s brothel) becomes more common a phrase, even to Germans themselves. In a German study, this has been pointed out by comparing the sex trade in the country to that of the Swedish one; the market is 60 times bigger in Germany even though the population is barely ten times bigger.