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May 16, 2006

WC06: German police put on a front to weed out illegal, unwilling prostitutes

Let the games begin, right? Major crackdown: 2,000 German police block illegal prostitution:
Mainz, Germany - Responding to international concerns that women will be forced into prostitution during the World Cup, 2,000 police raided brothels in the southern half of Germany Thursday.

With just 29 days to go till the start of the football tournament, they entered hundreds of brothels as well as hostels and bars used for prostitution, checking whether the women were legally and willingly employed. Brothels are legal in Germany.

'We want the world to know before the World Cup that the German police are doing their job,' said a police officer in Hesse state who asked not to be quoted by name.

Concern has been voiced in the United States, Sweden and other nations that the sex trade may be drafting in up to 40,000 women to cater to football fans, with some migrating to Germany illegally.

The trade recruits mainly from eastern Europe and many women complain that they are forced to remain at brothels because they will be expelled from Germany as illegal immigrants if they seek other work. Some say they expected regular work and were forced into sex.

In the city of Mainz, Rhineland Palatinate Interior Minister Karl Peter Bruch called the raids a success, saying one purpose was to help any women who wanted to leave the sex trade but did not know how.

Police said they detained 100 persons in two states alone, Rheinland Palatinate and Hesse. There were also raids in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg state. Police were mainly hunting traffickers, not prostitutes.
Right, I'm sure a woman who is being forced into prostitution will be able to freely say, "I didn't sign up for this," and the nice police officer will send her safely home.

But... on the other hand, if the working conditions are so wonderful in this legalized industry, why would anyone want to leave?

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