Regarding the Nov. 23 article, “Germany is having second thoughts on legalized prostitution“: I’m a German researcher and I was a co-organizer of the protest against Alice Schwarzer’s recent event in Berlin.

The fact that many guests at the event didn’t seem to mind when Schwarzer, a privileged woman in a powerful position, dismissed critical comments by a Bulgarian sex worker as grotesque and implausible, illustrates how little Schwarzer and her followers understand about the diversity of experiences made by sex workers.

Schwarzer’s book and her appeal against prostitution have been widely criticized for using entirely unreliable data. The counter-appeal, launched by the German sex workers’ union, has been signed by numerous experts, including counseling centers for sex workers and victims of human trafficking as well as social scientists, social workers and sex workers themselves.

In opinion polls, a majority of the German public has consistently shown not to support a move to roll back the German prostitution law. Suggesting otherwise and believing Schwarzer’s and Louis’ unscientific claims is, pardon me, sloppy investigative journalism. Schwarzer’s press conference for foreign journalists has certainly been noticed by her opponents. Thankfully, there’s a currently a more diverse discourse in the German media than your article provides.

You can read a more detailed and more accurate description of the event in the news section of the International Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (ICRSE).

“Sex workers protest against Alice Schwarzer’s panel discussion about prostitution in Berlin” http://www.sexworkeurope.org/news/general-news/sex-workers-protest-against-alice-schwarzers-panel-discussion-about-prostitution.

You can read the appeal to strengthen the rights and improve the living and working conditions of sex workers here: http://www.sexworkeurope.org/news/general-news/appeal-prostitution.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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