Categorized | Geneva, Legal, Prostitution, Salaries

Prostitution in Switzerland: Market Saturation

Posted on 14 March 2007 by LegalBeagle

Since the bilateral accords in 2004 allowing free flow of workers between Switzerland and The EU, Switzerland has seen the number of prostitutes explode. A spokesman for the Geneva Police reports, “in just 2 years, the number of registered prostitutes working in Geneva has gone from 800 to 1500.” In Switzerland prostitution is legal and prostitutes who work in Switzerland are required to “register” with the Brigade des Moeurs, report their income, and pay taxes on it. While obviously many do not register and work clandestinely, the fluctuation of registered prostitutes is a solid indicator of the percentage increase. Prostitutes working clandestinely are often harassed by those working legally since they tend to bring the prices down with discounted services.

There was a time, just a few years back, when the Salon de L’Auto brought a huge rise in business to local prostitution, as did many other large conventions. But with use of the internet now thoroughly generalized, clients more often then not connect with girls through the web. Easily and discretely.

girl studentMany students consider prostitution to be a means to make easy money. According to informal surveys, prostitutes make between CHF 15,000 – 20,000 / month. Given the prospect of such easy money or taking a long-hours job at the McDonalds, for many girls the choice is simple. The Profession is seducing a larger and larger number of young girls, and increasingly minors. Social workers are finding that more and more often girls are turning to prostitution simply to be able to buy luxury items, like Gucci bags or expensive watches. Or in some cases, students

resort to prostitution in order to pay their educational and living expenses. “Without a scholarship, if you don’t want to go into debt with a loan, it can be awfully tempting…” says Michele, a student at the University of Geneva. Michele’s friend Sophie adds, “Thanks to prostitution, I managed to clean up my finances in 6 months instead of more like 6 years.”

Neither girl was willing to go into detail about their activities and behind the financial attractiveness of this trade is a dark and often dangerous universe from which it can be difficult to extract oneself once inside. Recently in Geneva a student prostitute was murdered in her apartment by a client.

Both Sophie and Michele are counting on putting enough money aside to get of the ‘business’ rapidly. “I don’t want to sound materialistic” says Sophie, “but I really can’t imagine working as some boutique salesgirl making 3000 francs a month.”

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