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Bundestag passes amendment to the law on the criminal liability of clients

Jul 6, 2021 | News

The Bundestag met again for almost 18 hours and passed a whole series of new laws. In addition to stricter criminal laws against right-wing agitation, stalking and identity theft, the whole regulations also include one on forced prostitution.

With the latter amendment one wants to achieve an earlier criminal liability for clients in human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. As the first media reports summarize, a regulation has now been created with which clients make themselves liable to prosecution if they have clear indications of forced prostitution – such as physical injuries or statements by the prostitute. In other words, in court the suitor must now credibly prove (so the sole burden of proof lies with him) that he had no knowledge of a predicament when using the sex service.

Aha. So from the point of view that such evidence is extremely complex, lengthy and laborious even for investigative authorities or advice centers. How, please, should clients be able to make a legally correct classification? A bruise alone, a noticeable tattoo or financial hardship are by no means proof of sexual exploitation by third parties. Assumption: after months of negotiations in court it is clear that the prostitute is actually a victim of human trafficking. All of a sudden there is the statement in the room that suitor XY had been informed verbally about the predicament of the victim. For his own relief, suitor XY must now provide sound counter-evidence. So there is no longer any statement against statement. Oh, hard stuff.

How high possible penalties for clients should be. Today the Federal Council will first decide on the proposed law.

According to the online editions of Zeit, Welt and n-tv, another decision by the Bundestag was to provide an additional 20 million euros for advice on getting out of prostitution. Whether it is an annual sum or an amount for a limited period was not mentioned.

… We stay tuned.