Elke Bartels, the former police chief of Duisburg, speaks out on the pressing issues of prostitution, clan crime, and human trafficking, advocating for stronger measures to protect vulnerable women.
Prostitution in Germany has been a contentious topic since its legalization in 2002. Critics argue that it perpetuates violence against women who often suffer under coercion and exploitation. Additionally, the link between prostitution and organized crime has become a significant concern.
Duisburg is an ideal place for gangs and organized crime
Duisburg, home to the second-largest brothel complex in Germany, has been deeply affected by the influx of people from the Balkans, particularly from Romania and Bulgaria, since 2007. The city’s high percentage of migrants and the availability of numerous vacant properties with low rents have drawn people to settle in Duisburg. Consequently, the number of Eastern European women working in the red-light district, known as the “Vulkankarree,” has surged.
Prostitution’s close association with organized crime, particularly clan crime in the Ruhr region, raises further concerns. Various clans, including Arab, Turkish, and Eastern European groups, control brothels and street prostitution, leading to conflicts over territory and fees.
Elke Bartels highlights the dire situation of women in certain ethnic cultures, emphasizing that they are born into situations where they lack basic rights and autonomy. These women are under the control of their families, especially male relatives, from birth, with little access to education and no source of income. Consequently, they are entirely dependent on their clans, leading many to be sent to brothels and streets to boost the clan’s wealth. The women have no choice but to comply with this fate, as breaking away from the clan’s structures is not an option they are allowed.
The issues go beyond prostitution, as Elke Bartels draws attention to the alarming reality of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is a lucrative enterprise for organized crime, with victims often brought to Germany under false pretenses and forced into prostitution through threats and violence, either against themselves or their loved ones back home.
Reformation of the prostitution law is needed
A harrowing example from Elke Bartels’ time as police chief involves Nigerian women who were deceived and brought to a brothel. These women were subjected to the control of a “madam” who held voodoo dolls for each of them. When they failed to comply with instructions, the madam would pierce needles into the dolls as a warning that their actions would harm a close relative in their home country.
Elke Bartels’ insights shed light on the grim reality of prostitution and human trafficking in Germany, particularly in Duisburg. Her call for a reformation of the prostitution law and stronger measures to protect women emphasizes the urgency of addressing these issues and ensuring the safety and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their circumstances. It is crucial for society to unite in safeguarding the rights of women and combatting the dark underbelly of these exploitative practices. Only then can we hope for a future where women are no longer completely vulnerable to these horrific crimes.
Previously we wrote in human trafficking topic
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