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They're Lovin' It: Sex Drive-Ins Branded Success in Switzerland

© AFP 2022 / VALERY HACHEA prostitute waits for clients in a street
A prostitute waits for clients in a street - Sputnik International
The so-called sex-boxes were introduced in the world’s banking center Zurich five years ago after locals had voted for a $2 million plan for building one-car garages where prostitutes and clients could meet. Since then, the drive-ins have been working with a precision of a Swiss clock and even seen some bicycle-friendly improvements lately.

The Zurich city council has told the Swiss news agency SDA that the goals of sex boxes, established in 2013, have been fulfilled. This August the prostitution drive-ins of Strichplatz Depotweg, away from the residential neighborhoods, are having their fifth anniversary. 

City social department, as cited by the media, described the facility as "well established" and functioning. The measure was especially effective for preventing violence against sex workers and human trafficking, as since 2013, not a single case of severe violence has been registered.  

Most of them have come to Switzerland from Eastern Europe; an advisory service for prostitutes has its office in the area, which is also patrolled by social workers. The counselors can identify exploitation and human trafficking victims at an early stage. Each year they report to the police about 100 possible victims.

From 20 to 25 women work daily at the facility, which resembles a row of one-car wooden garages. The drive-in has established working hours, according to the information on the web-site of the city council: customers can buy sex there from 7 pm till 3 am from Sunday till Wednesday. Hours of operation from Thursday till Saturday is two hours longer, up to 5 am. 

READ MORE: 'Sick Mentality': Pope Calls Prostitution 'Torture', 'Crime Against Humanity'

Earlier only cars have been welcome at the sex boxes, but since the beginning of 2018 bicycles and bikes have been allowed as a test, which has also been proved to be successful. Apart from car garages, standing boxes can be used now at the facility.

The operating expenses top $800,000 annually, which covers the cost of security and consulting at the facility. Although prostitution has been legal in neutral Switzerland since the 40s, the city of Zurich decided to put an end to the inconveniences the sex industry had caused the residents of the riverfront neighborhoods, where the hookers used to work, in 2012. Then more than 50% of locals voted for the initiative to build sex facilities, which cost $2 million; they opened a year later in August 2013.

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