A very interesting story came out of Zurich, Switzerland this past week as the city is preparing to install a group of drive-in ‘sex boxes’ beginning in August of 2013. The boxes will allow prostitutes a discreet and private location to meet their clients. The boxes look like garages and are large enough so that vehicles can park inside of them. The Telegraph said that the site will be able to offer meeting spots for 30 prostitutes and the drive-in areas will be on a first-come basis.
In Switzerland, prostitution is a legal profession, but officials in Zurich continue to have problems with controlling sex-trade related crime and violence. Reto Casanova, a police spokesman, said in 2010, “We can’t get rid of prostitution, so have to learn how to control it.” The city also made the decision because of complaints from city residents who are tired of seeing prostitutes walking the streets.
From the Zurich social welfare department, Michael Herzig, said, “The women will be better protected from attack, and it will also mean better business for them. With the women right by the sex boxes there is no ‘travel time’ so they can deal with more customers.”
For women to work in the sex boxes they are required to have medical insurance and pay a license fee. The women will also be required to insert five Swiss francs into a machine at the sex boxes when they clock in to work each day.
The boxes have received opposition, especially from Swiss People’s Party in Altstetten. Margrit Haller said to World Radio Switzerland in 2011 that, “The idea that women will be better protected and monitored is good, but I don’t really see it as an alternative that women either work the streets or work in the boxes.”
In March, the national referendum was approved by voters and installation of the boxes was approved by the Zurich City Council on Monday.