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March 12, 2022

Zurich greenlights 'sex boxes' for controlled prostitution

Here in North America, there appears to be not so much outright disgust over prostitution in other areas of the world, rather a bit of curiosity over how the trade is regulated and policed.

Certainly, laws governing the sex trade in Europe are about as forward-thinking – or backward-thinking, if that’s your stance – as they come, so we always raise an eyebrow from the safe distance across the Atlantic whenever a new landmark change comes in prostitution rules.

In Zurich today, that’s just what’s happened.

In the Swiss city, voters have approved a proposed plan to allow prostitutes to operate so-called “sex boxes,” a string of makeshift offices designed to keep the sex trade out of residential neighbourhoods.

Voted in Zurich, where prostitution is legal and regulated, was the initiative, which will drive sex workers into controlled industrial areas, away from homes in the suburban parts of the city.

*Bing: What countries have legalized prostitution?

The boxes, which we know you’re dying to learn, will be almost stalls in big industrial buildings, and will even have their own parking spots. This is important, of course, because everyone visiting a prostitute wants a space right at the scene of the crime to park the car identifiable to them.

The Metro newspaper uses an interesting word to describe the sex boxes, reporting that they will “encourage” prostitutes out of residential areas and into the sticks where families aren’t in their yard or playing in the street.

Such phrasing seems to echo precisely what the Swiss may really think about prostitution, which is to say they’re fine with it going on, just not around the corner and not in their backyard.

The sex boxes, though, are surely part of a new movement into making prostitution safer for its workers, an important-if-explosive political firebomb we’ve seen erupt recently, even in Canada.

Let’s ask a loaded question here and see what our readers think:

Do you think attempting to regulate and improve the safety of prostitution is the right way to handle the trade, or should it be outlawed entirely, with resources going toward stamping it out rather than helping it along?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...