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Switzerland Opens Drive-In ‘Sex Boxes’

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In order to make prostitution less of a public issue and make it safer for women, officials in Switzerland are opening a new area featuring open wooden garages, popularly called "sex boxes", that will be open for business for drive-in customers. The new compound will allow clients to drive though and negotiate with whatever sex workers they choose.

The publicly funded facilities are located away from the center of Zurich and feature bathrooms, lockers and shower.

Daniel Hartmann, a Zurich lawyer, sees it as a win-win situation.

"Safety for the prostitutes. At least it's a certain kind of a shelter for them. They can do their business, and I respect them," he said. "They do a great job, and they have better working conditions here.  ... They're not exposed to the bosses, to the pimps, in here."

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Zurich recently offered the public a chance to come to an "open house" at the new sex hub in order to give an idea about how taxpayer money is being used.

"I have to think about it for a long time, because it's so incredible that a city offers that to the men, and it's interesting that there are many, many women here who are looking at it," said retired schoolteacher Brigitta Hanselmann. She referred to the sex boxes as "an effort to control a thing that you can't really control."

"We built the place to be secure for the sex workers. It also had to be discreet for the sex workers and the clientele," said Michael Herzig of Zurich's social welfare department. "But we thought if we build the place, we can also make it look good."

The income of the workers is taxed and subject to social insurance like any other economic activity, Fox News reported.

"We can't solve the whole problem of exploitation and human trafficking," said Herzig, "but at least we want to reduce the harm, especially the violence."

Sources: Fox News, The Guardian