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Photo via Wikimedia Commons. Street prostitution in Vienna is generally legal, but limited to certain streets outside of residential areas. NGOs and sex worker organizations, however, claim sex workers have mostly suffered from the measures. Read more here. Christian Knappik, who runs www. Areas like the Prater , a huge park in a downtown neighborhood, have been classic red light districts with love hotels nearby renting out rooms by the hour to street prostitutes who were legally working there.
Now prostitutes looking to work in Vienna have to go through a list of lengthy appointments and regulations. In order to obtain a work permit, they must register with police, go though a health screening, and then wait for three weeks to receive their permit, the so-called "Deckel" "coaster".
The process proves too slow and complicated for many people. In their most recent report on Austria , the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women pointed out that these mandatory tests "may not respect sex workers' human rights to privacy and bodily integrity.
Looking for a Prostitute? Germany Has an App for That. In September , the red light district around the Prater was shut down after the new University for Economics opened there. Sometimes just a glance or a nod at a passing car is enough for police patrols to fine a woman, Knappik said. Where sex workers used to be able to work more or less independently downtown — picking their clients, denying the ones they didn't like, taking them to a love hotel around the corner, and keeping all of the profit — they now more than ever need the protection of pimps, Knappik said.
Amesberger's report came to a similar conclusion. Women in the legal zones outside of residential areas are allowed to make contact with customers. They are, however, not allowed to perform their services there — sex in cars or on the side of the street is still illegal, resulting in high fines for both prostitute and customer alike. It's an absurd situation that doesn't exactly make business easier for sex workers.