At the end of the 1990s sex workers and advice centres for prostitutes joined forces to discuss the legal situation of sex workers in Germany. However, the topics discussed at that time were not so different from those discussed today: the aggravating working conditions due to the restricted area orders, health insurance for sex workers, migrants in sex work, taxes, the classification of sex work as an independent activity or business, establishing dependent employment situations in sex work, etc.
During all those years this Nationwide Working Group called “Legislation and Prostitution” approached policy makers, the media and the general public with several statements to inform about the living and working conditions of sex workers as well as their legal situation and did also formulate demands.
In January 2002, the Prostitution Law came into effect. However the view on sex work has changed since, sex workers are still stigmatized.
There is no professional information for those wishing to enter sex work. A professional representation does not exist. In many respects the legal situation or the existing legislation has not been adapted to the Prostitution Law (e.g. the ban on advertising or the restricted area orders). Dependent employment situations as a subject to social insurance contribution did not come about.
Over the years the participation of sex workers and counselling centres increased. To enforce and emphasize the demands and to make clear that there is an advocating movement in different parts of society, the Nationwide Working Group “Legislation and Prostitution”, decided to found the Alliance of the Counselling Centres for Sex Workers, briefly bufaS.
The main aims of bufaS are: