Zurich debates merits of drive-in ‘sex boxes’ as way to regulate prostitution

By George Chidi
Sunday, August 25, 2013 17:57 EDT
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Swiss sex boxes
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Some places try to drive away prostitution. Others build a driveway for it.

Swiss citizens are divided over the country’s first attempt at a “sex drive in” in Zurich as a means of regulating and controlling prostitution near the city’s tourist and commercial district outside the city center.

Prostitution is legal in Switzerland, but legal prostitution is highly regulated. Illegal prostitutes circumvent the government controls like registration, the daily license fee of five Swiss francs and restrictions on where business might be conducted, according to the Swiss News Service.

The “sex boxes” are meant as a way of taking prostitution off the streets and away from the city’s Sihlqai district — where residents have often complained about on-street prostitution – without leaving it uncontrolled in back alleys, according to the Independent. Each of the nine enclosed parking spaces has an alarm button and can hold a single car at a time. The boxes have security guards nearby. The idea itself isn’t new — it follows similar strategies employed with mixed success in Germany and The Netherlands.

Ursula Kocher, a spokeswoman for Zurich’s “Flora Dora” prostitute support group, told Agence France Presse that she approved of the sex boxes because they allowed women to remain on site and “deal with customers quickly” rather than exposing them to potentially dangerous situations by clients who took them elsewhere.

Watch a report about the strategy below.

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