2005-01-30 15:18:36 UTC
THEIR GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Women told, 'Work in brothel, or else'
German law forces out-of-work females
to take sex jobs or lose unemployment
Posted: January 30, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com
A provision in the German welfare system is forcing out-of-work women
to chose between taking jobs in the sex industry or losing their
Once one of the most generous systems in Europe, Germany's unemployment
program has been reformed to require those out of work to take jobs for
which they are qualified, or lose benefits. In the case of women,
females below the age of 55 who have been out of work for a year or
more must take any available job offered.
The full legalization of prostitution two years ago - with brothel
owners now paying taxes and employee health insurance - has created
an awkward situation at German job centers where employers can access
the official government database of those seeking work, reports the
One 25-year-old waitress, an unemployed information technology
professional, had indicated a willingness to work in a bar at night and
had past experience working in a cafe. A potential employer, finding
her profile promising, contacted the job center about hiring her. Only
after the young woman called to inquire about the job did she learn the
employer was a brothel. When she refused the position, she was
threatened with cuts to her unemployment benefits.
Centers that do not penalize job seekers who refuse offered positions
are subject to lawsuits by the employers.
"There is now nothing in the law to stop women from being sent into the
sex industry," says Merchthild Garweg, a Hamburg lawyer. "The new
regulations say that working in the sex industry is not immoral any
more, and so jobs cannot be turned down without a risk to benefits."
Garweg notes that women who have past experience as telemarketers or
call service workers have been offered positions with telephone-sex
services. New laws permit sex-oriented employers to advertise in the
job centers and provide for the suing of job centers that refuse to
accept their ads.
When the German government crafted the recent welfare reforms, brothels
were initially considered for exclusion, but they were believed too
difficult to distinguish from bars. Their inquiries for potential
workers are treated no differently than those from grocery stores or
"Why shouldn't I look for employees through the job center when I pay
my taxes just like anybody else?" asked one central Berlin brothel
owner who has been using the local database to find prospective
The German experience closely follows that of the Netherlands,
according to the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. Following the
2000 legalization of prostitution by the Dutch and the registration of
prostitutes, brothels began using official job centers to find new
Garwig believes pressure on job centers to meet employment targets is
only going to make the current situation worse.
"They are already prepared to push women into jobs related to sexual
services, but which don't count as prostitution," she says.
"Now that prostitution is no longer considered by the law to be
immoral, there is really nothing but the goodwill of the job centers to
stop them from pushing women into jobs they don't want to do."
Last year, the German federal government announced that it would be
fining employers that failed to hire trainees - a measure to be
applied to brothels as well as other employers. Brothels failing to
hire one apprentice for every 15 employees will be fined for failing to
promote the sex industry.
Germany legalized prostitution in 2002 in the belief it would slow down
the trafficking in women and reduce the role of organized crime in the
profession. Instead, government is expanding the sex industry by
guaranteeing a steady stream of new recruits, some willing and some