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Police are bracing themselves for a flood of prostitutes if Switzerland extends its free labour accord to eastern Europe. Social workers however are not so sure.
More about the author English Department. The number of registered prostitutes in Switzerland has risen dramatically since borders with the other 15 European Union states were opened on June 1, In Geneva the number of prostitutes has gone up by 50 per cent since June last year from to over 1,, while registrations in Basel rose in from to Last year, women in Zurich got into prostitution — which is legal in Switzerland — to swell the number of sex workers to more than 3, Of these , came from the "old" EU countries, mainly from Germany.
The new EU countries cannot profit from this rule at the moment. If these boundaries are also opened, a big increase in new prostitutes can be expected. Swiss women had to wait until until they got the right to vote.
Why did it take so long? A large number of French women have come to Geneva as sex workers since being granted freedom of movement, according to Inspector Christophe Boujol of the city's vice squad. We have effectively opened the doors. If there is more supply than demand then prices could drop further. Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox. Social workers in Geneva believe the market is saturated to a point that will deter women from eastern Europe from coming to Switzerland.
Marianne Schweizer of Aspasie, an organisation that provides support and advice to prostitutes, also thinks that most of the "new" sex workers who have registered since the labour accord came into effect were already in the city. But she predicts that a lack of work may put off others from coming. It is the same as the general economic situation but more concentrated, which makes women extremely vulnerable. The Federal Migration Office was also sceptical about a flood of prostitutes coming to the country.