FAQ Kapitel I.

  1. General information about the Protection of Prostitutes Act (ProstSchG)

    1. I’ve heard that there will be big changes in the law from 1 July 2017. Is that true?

    2. It is. A new law will come into force on 1/7/2017. It is called the Prostituiertenschutzgesetz (Protection of Prostitutes Act), or ProstSchG for short.

      Section 3 ProstSchG says that every person either working or intending to work as a prostitute has to register with a competent authority. (more FAQ II) The registration process will include information and counselling. (more FAQ II, 3)

      Anyone wanting to register will first have to receive health counselling from the Gesundheitsbehörde (public health authorities). (more FAQ III)

      The law also requires the compulsory use of condoms (§ 32). A ban on advertising intercourse without condoms or intercourse with expectant mothers is new as well.(more FAQ IV )

      The ProstSchG also introduces obligations for managers of establishments. Anyone wishing to open an establishment for the purpose of prostitution must register a business with the Ordnungsamt (Office of Public Order) responsible for the business address and must obtain a permit from the competent authority.(more FAQ V )

    1. Does the ProstSchG apply everywhere in Germany?

    2. The new law is a federal law and therefore applies everywhere in Germany. However, each German state can decide independently who is responsible for health counselling and registration and how much this will cost you. Enquire at your place of residence!

    1. To whom does the law apply?

    2. The law applies to all persons offering sexual services. This includes people who offer tantra massage, escort services, BDSM and other services. In addition, the law applies to people who are not paid money in return for sexual services, and instead receive free room and board or other considerations, provided they use these services deliberately to secure or improve their livelihoods.

      It is also irrelevant whether the person offers the sexual services on an occasional or regular basis. The law also applies regardless of whether the prostitution takes place in private lodgings or in an establishment specifically used for prostitution. (more FAQ V)

    1. What does the ProstSchG mean for me as a prostitute?

    2. If you currently work as a prostitute in Germany or intend to do so in future, you are required to register with the competent authority. (more FAQ II).

      You need to attend health counselling before you can register. (more FAQ III)

      There is a transitional rule for this compulsory registration: everyone who worked as a prostitute before 1 July must register by 31 December 2017. You need to register immediately if you start working as a prostitute after 1 July 2017.

      The law requires you to use a condom during intercourse. Advertising intercourse without a condom is now banned. (more FAQ IV)

      If you work as a prostitute, you may also be required to apply for a business permit, for instance if you work in one apartment together with several other women. (more FAQ V)

    1. What does the registration and health counselling cost?

    2. You are not required to pay for registration and health counselling in North-Rhine Westphalia. But the situation may be different in other German states.

    1. What happens if I do not register?

    2. An infringement of this requirement is an administrative offence and you can be fined up to €1,000.

    1. Can I be refused registration?

    2. Yes, if you are not yet

      • 18 years old,

      • if you are younger than 21 and were caused by other persons to start or continue working as a prostitute,

      • if you are in a predicament and your helplessness is abused in order to keep you working as a prostitute or to exploit you,

      • if you are pregnant and will give birth in the next six weeks.

    1. What is the procedure for registration and health counselling? What can I ask?

    2. During registration and health counselling, you will receive information in your native language or in a language you understand.

      The staff at the authorities will treat you with respect and trust. Talk to them and ask them anything you are unsure about.

      You will be given the certificate that you have received health counselling immediately, the certificate of registration after no more than five days.

      Do contact a special counselling centre for prostitutes if there is anything you feel unsure about or if you have questions. You will receive anonymous advice there. (more FAQ VI)