1945

Prostitution in Switzerland: Geneva,Lausanne and Bern

After the Protestant Reformation prostitution was strictly forbidden in the Swiss territories and prostitutes were imprisoned. That changed in the Helvetic Republic at the turn of the nineteenth century when, under the influence of the presence of Napoleonic troops, state regulation of prostitution was introduced in some cities. In addition, growing industrialization in the nineteenth century attracted numerous young persons to the cities in order to find work in newly built factories. Poverty in rural areas increased that trend and led not only to migration within Switzerland, but also to emigration to the “New World”, in order to find better economic possibilities. Local authorities encouraged overseas emigration, because they were responsible for looking after individuals who lacked means of subsistence.

Related Subject(s): Migration; Women and Gender Issues
Countries: Switzerland
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