People belonging to most professions have been affected by lockdowns around the world caused due to Coronavirus. Those who are part of the oldest have also been struggling to earn a livelihood. In the German town of Hamburg, prostitutes took to the streets demanding that the government allow brothels to reopen.
Prostitution is legal in Germany but the government has not allowed bordellos to start functioning again. That is not the case with other outlets such as restaurants and shops. This has prompted sex workers to allege that the government is treating them unfairly.
Association of Sex Workers was the organization behind these demonstrations. They took place on July 11 in Hamburg's red-light area in Herbertstrasse. Apart from banners and placards, the protest also saw some demonstrators wearing decorated masks and one of them even sung folk songs while playing the violin to make their case.
In its statement, the association tried to assuage the fears of authorities regarding lack of hygiene in brothels. "Prostitution does not carry a greater risk of infection than other close-to-body services, like massages, cosmetics or even dancing or contact sports. Hygiene is part of the business in prostitution."
While Coronavirus isn't considered to be a sexually transmitted disease, it is totally understandable why the government is hesitant to allow them to reopen. With Europe suffering heavily from the spread of COVID-19, any activity that involves a lack of social distancing will be considered dangerous.
However, there is one good reason why the government might have to think seriously about reopening these places. With the profession being legal, it is possible for the authorities to keep tabs on how the brothels are managing hygiene-related issues. But if they remain closed, many of the sex workers will be forced to work illegally behind the government's back.
Such behaviour would be even more dangerous as then there would be no motivation for the prostitutes to take even the basic steps to avoid contracting the diseases. Overall, this issue presents a complex question to the German authorities. At least, they have to provide help to those involved in this profession, otherwise, their survival may be in doubt.