Migrants in Berlin refugee centre turn to prostitution to survive

Photo credit: Der Spiegel. Sex workers in a German brothel.

TMP – 08/12/2017

German TV broadcaster ZDF has found evidence of migrants in Berlin selling themselves for sex in order to survive.

Security guards at a prominent refugee centre have been acting as pimps – finding clients for the migrants and brokering deals. .

Most migrants working in the sex trade believe it is the only way they can earn money to support their families back home or repay loans to the smugglers who brought them to Europe. Many are minors or migrants whose asylum applications have been rejected.

“This pressure comes from feeling like ‘I’m rejected, I’m not allowed to work, have no work permit,’” explained Diana Henninges of Berlin refugee aid organization ‘Moabit helps’. “There’s a permanent fear of hopelessness,” she said.

A security guard at the Berlin Wilmersdorf refugee centre admitted to secretly working as a pimp and that it is a lucrative business.

“For every hookup I get 20 euros. This is why I make them get laid,” he said.. “Refugees just need money.”

In April this year, German aid charities reported an increase in the number of young migrants turning to prostitution in Germany as a way to make ends meet. According to the report, there has been a particular increase in the number of young men from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran who become sex workers.