Czech Republic prostitute

The border where Germany and the Czech Republic meet hosts kilometre after kilometres of prostitutes. Women stand on the asphalt of the highway that connects the two countries and wave at passers-by in front of local brothels and bars with names like "The Alibi." Among the women, however, there are also girls. The issue of child prostitution may be new to this central European country, but prostitution here has led to the German and Czech border being known as the "biggest brothel in Europe," and the capital city Prague dubbed the "Bangkok of Europe." As the May deadline for the Czech Republic's entry to the European Union approaches, the issue of child prostitution has moved to the forefront and heated up tensions between the two countries. A report by German researchers released last year says sexual tourists, many from Germany, are coming to the border for girls, aged 12 to 15. The report also says that some of these girls are the children of working prostitutes in the region. Czech Interior Ministry spokesperson Marie Masarikova says that while child prostitution does happen in the country, the ministry "didn't find proof of child prostitution being conducted in the country in such a massive scale." Though Czech government officials say that both countries should work together to fight child prostitution, they say the problem is not as large as Germany contends. But some child-advocacy workers say the Czech government's approach to the problem has been to look the other way. "It's like ostrich politics," said Laszlo Sumegh. "Put your head in the sand and you don't see anything." Sumegh is the founder of Prague-based organization Dum Sance, or Chance House, and has worked with young male prostitutes in the city since 1995.

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