New German draft law seeks Harsher penalties for pimps and johns of forced prostitutes

The German cabinet is set to debate a new law which seeks to crack down on human trafficking in the sex trade.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas said such measures made more sense than a blanket ban on prostitution.

In an attempt to curb the business of sex and human trafficking, Germany’s cabinet will discuss a new draft law on Wednesday which calls for stricter punishments for those who visit forced prostitutes.

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“As a state, we made a decision that we do not accept and also do not tolerate such a thing,” Justice Minister Heiko Maas said during an interview with the German morning talk show “Morgenmagazin” on ARD. He added that the law was meant to have a “preventative effect” to deter those who would be clients of prostitutes who are victims of human trafficking.

“Johns” who go to forced prostitutes could now face between three months and up to five years of jail time under the proposed law.

However, they could be exempt from punishment if they report the sex trafficking case to the authorities.

Critics of the draft law say that it will be hard to prove that a client knowingly went to a forced prostitute, but Maas reported that there are “numerous circumstantial clues” which make it evident that the prostitute is not a willing sex worker.