STANDING in minus 4 degrees wearing only a skirt and cropped jacket, a prostitute touted for trade huddled under a bus-stop style shelter.
Around the corner, a girl wearing tight black wet-look leggings, gets out of her car and waves at a John smiling as she walks through the snow towards his vehicle.
Darren Fletcher Photography – Commissioned by The SunA girl stands at one of the outdoor drive-thru sex boxes (Strichplatz) in Zurich[/caption]
Darren FletcherThe drive-thru outdoor sex cabins in Zurich allow punters to never leave the car[/caption]
Darren Fletcher Photography – Commissioned by The SunDespite snow on the ground, girls wear wet-looking leggings and short skirts[/caption]
Darren FletcherWith low light and graffiti, the area feels ‘seedy’[/caption]
Those looking for a quick tumble can drive, bike, and skateboard around a track ogling the girls on offer before picking one to take to a “sex box” with neon lights where they pay for a quickie.
The going rate is £98 for full sex, £40 for “hand relief” and more obscure services cost extra.
The area is covered with graffiti and has limited light, making it feel seedy, but these girls are working legally in a special area created by the Zurich government which has security and sexual health services on site.
But many women plying the trade aren’t keen to work there under supervision.
One who didn’t want to be named said: “You don’t make as much money there, and less Johns pass through. It’s not worth the time and effort.”
Girls who are working leave their bags in the bus-stop style shelters, which only offer protection from the wind on two sides.
On the cold January night that The Sun visited, it did little to keep out the freezing snow.
Girls resorted to blankets and hot drinks in an attempt to keep warm. Others opted to sit in the cars and emerge when they saw another vehicle coming towards them.
It was easy to spot if a girl had been chosen, not just from the car in the drive-thru slot, but her bag would be abandoned in the shelter.
The sex boxes were developed as part of a plan to get prostitution out of rural areas.
In 2012 residents of Zurich voted for the creation of the site which cost £2.2million to build and now sets the city back £628,394.80 each year to run and maintain.
Flora Dora, the council funded organisation that runs the site, has been around since the 1990s and originally worked with Heroin addicts that plagued the city.
Spokeswoman Nadeen Schuster said: “Until 10 years ago, street prostitution was mainly on Sihlquai – with untenable conditions for the neighbourhood and the sex workers.
The city then opened the Strichplatz (street prostitution centre) with the so-called sex boxes.
“For the sex workers, working on the streets was dangerous and there were many incidents of violence.
“Since the opening of the street prostitution centre in August 2013, there have been no incidents of serious violence against sex workers.
She added: “The safe, stable setting of the Strichplatz protects sex workers from being targeted by pimps and can provide information on possible victims of human trafficking to the city police’s specialised team for human trafficking.”
It was hoped that the Strichplatz would help keep hookers safe and contain the trade.
Around 10 girls work out of the open-air facility each night, and they tend to be residents of the European Union which means they can work in Zurich for up to 90 days a year.
When The Sun visited in January, Johns were braving a snowstorm and minus 4-degree temperatures to visit their chosen girl.
But we only ever saw one box occupied each time we drove around.
For safety, only one person is allowed in a car to ensure the women who work there aren’t put at risk.
It’s believed that 350,000 Swiss men aged between 20-65 use sex worker services at least once a year.
Despite authorities declaring it a success, it has failed to curb the growing illegal prostitution run by violent traffickers.
Less than a mile away from the publicly funded sex boxes, neon lights show off girls inside the brothels situated in the old town – where 30 minutes sets punters back 150 Swiss francs (£138).
These window girls are legal, but the street girls, a mile in the opposite direction are not.
Many are brought in against their will to work as prostitutes and sell sex for as little as 50 Swiss francs (£45).
Flora Dora, who care for the sex boxes and the girls who work there, also have a team who work out here in an attempt to combat human trafficking which takes place.
Nadeen said: “Preventative measures and crisis interventions take centre stage.
“Flora Dora offers targeted support in legal, social and medical matters as well as in professional reorientation and is committed to improving the living and working conditions of people working in the sex trade.
“As part of a large network, Flora Dora works closely with other organisations as well as medical and legal bodies and offers mediation and support.”
But other organisations in the City don’t think the city council is going far enough – nor is the federal government.
Until 2013 teens as young as 16 were able to work as prostitutes, like Monica who was trafficked into this line of work. Now, paying for sex with a 16 or 17-year-old will see those found guilty sentenced to three years in prison.
Olivia Frei, from Zurich’s Women Centre, which wants the country to adopt the Nordic model where sex buyers are criminalised, said: “We know that some of the girls who are working in the legal establishments are brought in by pimps and essentially trafficked.
“Many of them initially claim they started this kind of work from their own free will, but later realise they’ve been duped into it by the man they love. This is known as the lover boy method. It’s a really common way women are brought over.
“We’d like to see Switzerland go to the Nordic model where sex buyers are criminalised, not the women selling it. But it’s a long way off.
“The changes in Germany are helping us shift attitudes, but just 11 out of almost 300 votes at the national assembly were in favour of it last time it was brought up.
“We’re at the beginning of the conversation for this change.”
Not known, clear with picture deskGirls advertise themselves in the windows of some buildings[/caption]
Darren Fletcher – Commissioned by The SunIn Switzerland, prostitution is legal and paying for sex has become as simple as ordering an Uber[/caption]Leave a comment