Germany: Sex worker registrations fell sharply in pandemic
Berlin, July 01: The number of registered sex workers in Germany fell by more than a third during the coronavirus pandemic, Germany's Federal Statistics Office, Destatis, said Thursday.
By the end of 2020, around 24,900 sex workers were registered with authorities in Germany, a drop of 38% from the previous year.
According to German law, sex workers are required to register with authorities and receive a permit. Sex work is legal in Germany, however, it was halted in March 2020 along with other coronavirus-related curbs on public life.
Brothels remained shut for months due to the curbs, forcing many sex workers to take their work underground.
The statistics only cover officially registered sex workers under Germany's Prostitution Protection Act — and do not include details about their gender.
The number of unregistered sex workers remains unknown, but is believed to have grown.
What did the statistics show?
Of those registered, 79% were between 21 and 44 years old, 18% were above 45 years old and 3% were between 18-20 years of age.
Most of the sex workers were of foreign nationality, with 35% coming from Romania and 11% from Bulgaria. Germans made up around a fifth of the total number.
The data showed that 2,290 sex work businesses had been granted a provisional permit in 2020.
About 93% were establishments, while brokers, vehicles and events accounted for a total of 7% of the licenses.
Brothels and other sex services were halted for many months during the year, due to pandemic related shutdowns. There have been some relaxations now.
Berlin has allowed the operation of services from July 1, as long as they comply with hygiene regulations.