United Kingdom

Hamburg sex workers demand Germany's brothels reopen

Prostitutes demonstrated in Hamburg's red light district to demand that Germany's brothels be allowed to reopen after months of closures amid coronavirus lockdown.

Sex workers in Germany - where prostitution is legal - say they are being singled out and deprived of their livelihoods despite not posing a greater health risk.

Shops, restaurants and bars are all open again in Germany, a country widely praised for its rapid coronavirus response and low death toll.

'The oldest profession needs your help,' read a notice held up by one woman in a brothel window in the Herbertstrasse, which was flooded with red light after being dark since March.

Prostitutes demonstrated in Hamburg's red light district to demand that Germany's brothels be allowed to reopen after months of closures amid coronavirus lockdown

Sex workers in Germany - where prostitution is legal - say they are being singled out and deprived of their livelihoods despite not posing a greater health risk. Pictured: Sex workers in Germany

Sex workers protest against lockdown measures banning them from working during a demonstration in Hamburg

Prostitutes wearing masks hold signs reading: 'One Europe - One Law', 'We attract your tourists, dear Germany' and 'Without us more women and children will be violated'

A prostitute wearing a mask holds a sign reading: 'The oldest business needs more help'

Sex workers wearing masks protest against lockdown measures that are preventing brothels from reopening in Hamburg's red light district

Some protesters wore theatrical masks while one played folk songs on a violin in the street just around the corner from the Reeperbahn, famous for its nightlife.

The Association of Sex Workers, which organised the protest, says the continued closure of licensed premises is forcing some prostitutes onto the streets.

Street prostitution is illegal in the area and is a far more dangerous and unhygienic way of working.

The association said brothels could easily incorporate pandemic safety measures adopted by other industries, including face masks, ventilating premises and recording visitors' contact details.

A cross draped with underwear is illuminated during a demonstration by prostitutes demanding the red light district be reopened in Hamburg

Prostitutes wearing masks hold signs reading: 'One Europe - One Law', 'We attract your tourists, dear Germany' and 'Without us more women and children will be violated'

A prostitute wearing a mask holds a sign reading: 'We pay taxes and nobody helps us now'

A woman wearing a mask looks out of a window during a rally of prostitutes demanding the reopening of Germany's brothels

Sex workers protest against lockdown measures that are preventing brothels from reopening

Sex workers protest lockdown measures in Hamburg as the rules are preventing them from working

'Prostitution does not carry a greater risk of infection than other close-to-body services, like massages, cosmetics or even dancing or contact sports,' the association said in a statement. 

'Hygiene is part of the business in prostitution.'

Their protest follows the news that Amsterdam's red light district was able to reopen on June 1.

There, customers and sex workers are advised to wear masks, but not legally required to do so. 

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