The UN called for action on the occasion of the 2nd world day against human trafficking on July 30th 2015. Over 150 countries are affected, 33% of the victims are children, of those 75% are girls, according to the UNODC annual report. Overall 70% of the victims are women and children. The International Labor Organization estimates that gangs of smugglers make an annual of 150 billion US-$ out of forced labor and sex trafficking and of the 150 billion US-$ 99 billion account for forced prostitution. 4.5 Million people are victims of sex trafficking! Data of the EU-Commission show that 62% of the victims are kidnapped with the intention to be sold into forced prostitution and 96% of the identified victims are women and girls.

Given those numbers the approach towards prostitution in Innsbruck is inexplicable. Many houses from the Südtiroler Platz over the Südring until the Mitterweg are hiding places for prostitutes and pimps. They escape the selective controls by renting new apartments in houses in the close by neighborhood. The situation for the other residents in the house becomes unbearable because of the nighttime disturbance through sex buyers and the fights between pimps and prostitutes.

Insufficient legal framework

The executive and judicial power cannot act effectively because the legal framework is insufficient. Furthermore, the insufficiency of the legal framework makes the fight against other crimes like human trafficking, drugs, pimping, violence and mafia-style structures difficult. While young women from Eastern Europe are exploited and have to sell themselves for almost nothing, their pimps (mainly from Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary) drive in luxury cars, with pockets full of money through the streets or work out in gyms in the area.

The consequences are not only the shrinking reputation of the affected areas in the city and the local enterprises, but it also has an effect on society, especially on young people. How shall gender equality be established (as demanded by article 7, section 2 of the Austrian federal constitutional law), if our youth grows up with the image of women as purchasable objects in front of them?

In February 2014 the European Parliament called for taking action on the basis of the Nordic model. The model states that through decriminalization of prostitutes and thorough punishment of the sex buyers there is a decrease in prostitution and human trafficking. According to the parliamentarians sexual services for money always violate the human rights and the dignity of people.

The legislative (and thus politics) are asked to act on the resolution of the European Parliament and pass a new law to stop sex-for-sale in Tyrol.

We demand from the city of Innsbruck and the state Tyrol:

  • To punish sex buyers as well as the landlords and other third parties with immediate effect, because the people who support this system of exploitation need to be legally sued, and not the prostitutes,
  • To follow the decision of the EU Parliament that prostitution is a violation of the human rights and thus also abolish prostitution in brothels,
  • To make sure that the new regulations can be effectively implemented by adapting relevant legislations and legal regulations,
  • To establish a program of victim protection and retraining measures for former prostitutes,
  • To support initiatives promoting the Nordic Model, as well,
  • To request the following changes in the federal law through political contacts on federal level:
  • To raise the minimal penalties for human trafficking and pimping to ten years,
  • To guarantee the protection of the family of the prostitutes in their home country by working closely together with the authorities abroad.

For further informations on the petition please contact us.

For more information about prostitution and human trafficking please click here.

For obvious reasons the petition cannot be signed in English language as it only affects Austria; however, if you are interested in starting a similar petition in your countries, please contact us - we will send you a Pages or Word version of the text.

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