Swiss cabinet doesn’t want to ban prostitution or criminalize clients

Swiss cabinet doesn’t want to ban prostitution or criminalize clients

The Swiss government says it is against outlawing prostitution or the buying of sexual services, but has proposed measures to better protect sex workers and to fight against human trafficking.

A 140-page report by the Federal Office of Police was ordered by the Swiss cabinet after the prostitution issue and what to do about it was raised several times in parliament.

Swiss cabinet doesn’t want to ban prostitution or criminalize clients
A prostitute waits for clients in Lausanne city centre (Keystone)

Prostitution has been legal and regulated in Switzerland since 1942. However, street prostitution is illegal, except in specially designated areas in major cities.

Experience from abroad shows that a ban on prostitution is not the solution, the government said. Studies from other countries have shown that this usually leads to the criminalisation of prostitutes or prostitution going underground. Complementary measures usually produce more success, a statement said on Friday.

For example, the ban on clients buying sexual services in Sweden showed that “a country follows an approach based on its idea of people and society which could not be used in Switzerland without being adapted”.

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