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According to the new law, sex workers must register with local authorities and seek a medical consultation from a public health service. In the future, brothels or businesses that offer sex services will be required to apply for a permit that will only be granted if health, hygiene and room requirements are met.
The new law prohibits flat-rate brothels and gang-bang parties, in which a sex worker must service several men concurrently. Also, sex without a condom is prohibited. The fear of registration is rampant in the industry. Many women fear this change. They argue, "I cannot register and then get around with this ID. I'm going to have to quit. Silvia Vorhauer considers compulsory registration to be an unnecessary measure. Registration at the local government office leads to the stigmatization and criminalization of women," she says.
The counselor, however, does not think that everything about the law is bad. Compulsory use of condoms is advocated by all sex workers in Dortmund.
While some consider compulsory registration to be problematic in terms of privacy protection laws and thus plan to launch an appeal, Sowoldi and Sisters do not consider the protective measures to be sufficient. But who are the women in the industry who actually need protection? And if there are any, what measures would help whom? Even now that the law has been adopted, there is no consensus on how to fight human trafficking — neither in the industry, nor among sex worker associations, counseling services or aid organizations.