German Chancellor Says Sex Buying Unacceptable

NCOSE Press Statement logo

WASHINGTON, DC (November 20, 2023) – The International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE) commended German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for recognizing that sex buying is unacceptable. Prostitution is legal in Germany.

According to German news outlet Deutsche Welle (DW), Scholz said, “I don’t think it’s acceptable for men to purchase women,” and that he “would like to see further legal restrictions on sex work in Germany.”

In an unexpected public statement, the Germany Chancellor has given a very different public message than many would expect from the leader of a country that has supported and encouraged prostitution. Seemingly, the political U-turn signifies an understanding that its previous position has been to its own detriment.

“This is one among an ever-growing list of signs that the world is waking up to the toxic harmfulness of prostitution and to its devastating consequences for individuals, families, and communities. All of society is impacted in a country where prostitution is tolerated and condoned,” said Rachel Moran, Director of International Policy and Advocacy, International Centre on Sexual Exploitation.

“The full decriminalization model doesn’t work,” says Moran, “and more Parliamentarians and Policy Makers are seeing that and legislating accordingly. Maine was the first U.S. state to introduce Nordic Model style legislation that rightly places penalties on men who exploit women and girls and decriminalizes people exploited in prostitution. It is an enormous relief to see a model that affirms women’s rights not to be bought and sold reach the United States.”

The news of Chancellor Scholz’s comments created a huge stir on social media, with Women’s and Human Rights groups urging the German Chancellor to further investigate and make changes to Germany’s prostitution policies, which are currently said to enable prostitution and encourage sex trafficking into Germany, predominantly from Eastern Europe. International Anti-trafficking groups and others contended that the Nordic Model needs to be implemented in Germany and throughout the world. 

About the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE)  
Utilizing cutting edge tactics for private and public policy advocacy and building on a decade of coalition-building experience, the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation (ICOSE) works to bolster the global abolitionist movement. ICOSE is a division of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE).

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography. 

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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