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Opinions divided over opening of 'sex drive-in' in Zurich

Published on Aug 25, 2013 12:56 AM
A man standing in front of a so-called "sex box" during a tour on an open day at a sex drive-in, west of Zurich on August 24, 2013. A year after voters backed the plan to ban street street walkers from the city centre in a bid to make prostitution safer for both sex workers and customers, a sex drive-in will be officially opened on August 26. After passing a check-in gate drivers, who must be alone in their vehicles, follow a marked route, negotiate a rate with one of the 40 prostitutes stationed there and drive on to one of nine partially enclosed wooden booths to have sex. The facility includes a social room, toilets and showers for the working women, who have to buy a "worker ticket" each evening. Panic alarms are also installed in the wooden sheds. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ZURICH (AFP) - As the Swiss city of Zurich opens the country's first sex drive-in to better regulate prostitution and move the sex trade outside the city centre, residents, politicians and sex workers remain divided over the scheme.

The nine so-called "sex boxes" will be available to prostitutes and their clients from Monday onwards, in a former industrial zone in the west of the city.

Inspired by a similar initiative in Germany, the Zurich authorities want to alter the image of the city's Sihlquai district, where sex workers openly ply their trade each night, to the dismay of residents.

"Prostitution is a business basically. We cannot prohibit it, so we want to control it in favour of the sex workers and the population," said Mr Michael Herzig, director of social services for sex workers in the city.

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