Sex-workers struggle to surrive

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The Austrian government has eased coronavirus restrictions on prostitution.  Only home visits will be allowed under the new rules. Clients will also be required to have either a negative coronavirus test result or wear an FFP2 (P95) mask. Street prostitution would be allowed from 8 p.m.

Oct21, 2009 – A young woman works the corner of Gerrard and Jarvis Streets Weds night. For Robyn Doolittle’s story about prostitution in the city. Tony Bock/Toronto Star

Austria’s sex workers are not the only ones to complain about restrictive lockdown measures. Last year, brothel operators in Germany launched a lawsuit against the government’s lockdown restrictions, arguing that the rules conflicted with professional freedoms.

The brothel owners noted at the time that they had developed their own guidelines to make sure clients and workers maintained proper hygiene protocols.

French prostitutes have also complained about the restrictions. One activist organization went as far as demanding sex workers be given a government bailout because they were forced to cease work, the Kronen Zeitung reports.

A high-end sex-worker in Nevada sued the Gov. of that state over limitations placed on sex-workers. Alice Little argued that the Corona Virus laws violated her constitutional equal protection rights as she compared her circumstances to other similarly situated people. The lower court ultimately ruled against her, and it was not clear whether she appealed the ruling.

We think that any law or rule that limits sex-workers to operate, for any reason, should be carefully narrowed to achieve their purpose. There seems to be a tendency for lawmakers to over-legislate where sex-working is involved. For example, sex acts performed in the private home of a customer, or sex worker should be sanctioned if otherwise lawful; the consenting adults can determine whether masks are fitting (it might be–who knows).

The hours of operation should be lawful 24 hours a day. Absent symptoms of the virus, testing should be no more than monthly if at all.





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