[ 03. Jun 2008 ]

St. Pauli Protocol - Sex Work and Migration

only rights can stop the wrongs

From the 39th Seminar on Prostitution in Germany Hamburg, 17 to 19 April 2008: "Similarities and differences in the context of Migration and Sex Work".


The 2008 Seminar on Prostitution had a specific theme: Sex Work and Migration. The aims of the seminar were:

  • To discuss and exchange information and experiences regarding the similarities and differences of working conditions of national and migrant sex workers, their access to social and health care, their rights, and living conditions,
  • To confront the participants with the themes of racism and discrimination.
  • To come up with a document undersigned by all participants and others, that could and should be used as a political instrument to demand more rights for sex workers, in special for migrant sex workers. This was achieved through the creation of the St. Pauli Protocol.

The St. Pauli Protocol

Hamburg, Germany, April 2008 [1]

We, the participants of the 39th German Seminar on Prostitution (Hamburg, 17-19 April 2008) [2], active and former sex workers, representatives of sex workers' organisations, of migrants' organisations and other experts from Germany and Austria, emphasize that:

  • In average, 60 to 80% of all sex workers in Germany and Austria are migrants [3].
  • Sex workers' human rights are a component of the universal human rights, independent of residential status, of nationality, cultural or religious background, of sexual orientation or identity.
  • Sex workers – including migrants – should be active participants in every debate and decision regarding legislation, guidelines, working conditions and measures which regard their life, their work, their rights, and their health.

We are against every form of racism and discrimination and we demand a respectful treatment with the existing differences and similarities in the area of sex work. We value the variety of life realities and we resist being used and being perceived as victims.

We demand the recognition and the implementation of the Human, Labour and Migration Rights of Sex Workers as formulated in the Brussels Declaration of 2005 [4]. We specially underline the following:
  • The right of (migrant) sex workers to comprehensive, holistic and low-threshold access to general health care, including prevention, testing and treatment,
  • The right to have access to culturally and linguistically adequate information which (migrant) sex workers need and which empower them and guarantee their rights,
  • Equal labour rights for (migrant) sex workers, free choice of work place and fair working conditions, with a correspondent work and residence status.

The internationalisation of sex work demands anti-racist and intercultural competences in the counselling and support activities. Cultural Mediation is in this context a fundamental prerequisite, which includes qualification and experience. It is essential to recognise such expertise and to ensure equal work opportunities for migrants and/or sex workers – also as experts within GOs and NGOs – and to guarantee their adequate remuneration.

To enable this, it is fundamental that the financial support for counselling centres for (migrant) sex workers is guaranteed.

We, the undersigned, commit ourselves to implement these principles in our work and activities and demand all actors to support the St. Pauli Protocol.

Undersigned by:

1. Amnesty for Women e.V. | TAMPEP-Germany | Hamburg
2. context e.V. | Berlin, Hamburg, Rio de Janeiro
3. LEFÖ | Beratung, Bildung und Begleitung für Migrantinnen | TAMPEP-Austria | Vienna
4. maiz | Autonomes Zentrum von & für Migrantinnen | Linz
5. Phoenix e.V. | Beratungsstelle für Prostituierte | Hannover
6. Anita Mangala
7. Tanja Regensburg, sex worker
8. Angelinadream
9. Monika Gerstendörfer | Lobby für Menschenrechte e.V.
10. Nitribitt e.V. | Bremen
11. Hanna H.
12. Christian Knappik |
13. ragazza e.V. | Hamburg
14. Callboy Connection FFM | sex work information clearing house in the German internet | Marc of Frankfurt-Main |
15. KOBER | Kommunikations- und Beratungsstelle für Prostituierte | Dortmund
16. Agnieszka Zimowska
17. Madonna e.V. | Verein zur Förderung der beruflichen und kulturellen Bildung von Prostituierten | Bochum
18. Agisra e.V. | Köln
19. MIR Consult GmbH | Health- & Financial Care
20. Hurenselbsthilfe e.V. | Saarbrücken
21. Theo Koppers | Gesundheitsamt | Gütersloh
22. Arbeitsplatz Prostitution | ver.di Bundesvorstand | Hamburg
23. Ira von Dultzig | MIR Consult GmbH, Health & Financial Care
24. Hurenselbsthilfe e.V. | Saarbrücken
25. LENA | Beratungsstelle für Menschen, die in der Prostitution arbeiten oder gearbeitet haben | Linz
26. KISS | ein Projekt der AIDS-Hilfe Frankfurt e.V. | Frankfurt-Main
27. Ethno-Medizinisches Zentrum e.V. | Hannover
28. Jasmin, sex worker
29. Stephanie Klee | highLights-Agentur | Berlin
30. Catharina König | Bochum
31. Service e.V. | Nürnberg
32. Beratungsstellen Mimikry+Marikas des Evangelischen Hilfswerkes | München
33. Maike Hahnke | Kaffeeklappe St.Pauli | Hamburg
34. GSSG | Gemeinnützige Stiftung Sexualität und Gesundheit | Köln
35. Hydra e.V. | Berlin
36. Dortmunder Mitternachtsmission e.V. | Dortmund
37. Judit Forrai | Sex Education Foundation | Budapest | TAMPEP-Hungary
38. Carol Leigh | BAYSWAN Bay Area Sex Worker Advocacy Network | USA
39. Femmes de droits, droits des femmes | French sex workers association | France
40. Licia Brussa | TAMPEP International Foundation | Amsterdam | Netherlands
41. Maj Christensen | VIP LOUNGE | Denmark
42. Martine Groen | Director of the institute voor geschillen | Amsterdam | Netherlands
43. Pia Covre and Carla Corso | Comitato per i Diritti Civili delle Prostitute Onlus | TAMPEP-Italy
44. Health and Social Development Foundation | Sofia | TAMPEP-Bulgaria
45. SCOT-PEP | Edinburgh, Scotland | TAMPEP-United Kingdom
46. PION | Prostitutes' interest organisation | Norway
47. International Committee on Sex Workers Rights in Europe (ICRSE)
48. Christa Gronewold, Sagitta Paul, Andrea Hatke, Britta Werner and Susanne Coors | AIDS/STD Counselling Centre |
49. Public Health Care Service | Bremen
50. SOPHIE | A Place of Education for Sex Workers | Vienna
51. TAMARA | Counselling and Help for Prostitutes | Frankfurt-Main
52. C.A. Odyseus | Bratislava | TAMPEP-Slovakia
53. XENIA | Counselling Centre for Sex Workers | Bern, Switzerland
54. PoCoRe | National Network of Counselling Centres and Sex Workers | Switzerland
55. ASPASIE | Geneva | TAMPEP-Switzerland
56. Javier Calatrava | Working Men Project | London
57. Ratschlag Prostitution | Hamburg
58. Pia Hoffmann, sex worker
59. Ulrike Rothe
60. MARIA MAGDALENA | Counselling Centre for Women in Sex Work | St. Gallen, Switzerland


(1) St. Pauli is a very well known red light district in Hamburg (where the declaration was first signed), famous for its bars and cabarets, street, brothel and window prostitution.

(2) Since the mid 1980's, Germany's sex workers' organisations carried out, twice a year, the "Prostitutes' Congresses", with the participation of a majority of sex workers from all over Germany. By 2000 however, the majority of the participants were co-workers of German NGOs and GOs (Public Health care Services) dealing with issues around sex work. Therefore, there was a decision that, from that year onwards, it would take place only once a year, and would be called "Seminar on Prostitution", an open space to discuss different issues on prostitution on national level. Since 2000 as well, organisations from Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland have been participating in the Seminars.

The seminars are organised by a different NGO every year, usually by one of the 10 NGOs who are members of the National Working Group on Prostitution (Bundesweite AG-Recht Prostitution): Hydra (Berlin), Nitribitt (Bremen), Kassandra (Nürnberg), Madonna (Bochum), Amnesty for Women/TAMPEP-Germany (Hamburg), Mimikry (Munich) , Phoenix (Hannover), Kober (Dortmund), Mitternachtsmission (Dortmund), and Tamara (Frankfurt-Main).

The 2008 Seminar on Prostitution had a specific theme: Sex Work and Migration. It was organised in Hamburg by a pool of NGOs working with migrant women and (migrant) sex workers, three from Germany (Amnesty for Women/TAMPEP-Germany, Context, and Phoenix) and two from Austria (LEFÖ/TAMPEP-Austria, and maiz). The 2008 Seminar on Prostitution was attended by 60 participants from Germany and Austria.

(3) There are regional fluctuations and differences (TAMPEP Final Reports 2005, 2007.

(4) Declaration of the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe (:: pdf), see ::