On the occasion of the third anniversary of the Dobra Družba organization, we see an opportunity to analyze the pulse of the sex industry in Slovenia.
In the trilogy of articles, we will present some cases due to which on 16 March 2021 we also called on the legislature of the Republic of Slovenia to regulate the indefinite notion of “exploitation of prostitution”, as pointed out by the High Court in Ljubljana in the “Leskovšek” case.
In the following, the representatives of Dobra Družba will try to present individual cases in the most understandable way in terms of connections between them in the field of applicable legislation in the Republic of Slovenia and its shortcomings – which the representatives of Dobra Družba point out from the very beginning.
1/3 – 16.3.2021 – Example: Erotic massage salon 2017 (12.00)
2/3 – 22.3.2021 – Veronika, Red & Black – Drago Leskovšek (12.00)
3/3 – 30.3.2021 – Marina Sauna Club, Wellness & Spa (court proceedings not yet completed) (12.00)
The fact is that in Slovenia sex work has been decriminalized since 2003 and since 2008 it has been partially regulated in the form of prostitution activities (SKD-08 96.090).
Erotic massages are regulated as a profession (SKD08 – 96.040, SKP-08 5169).
With all the media coverage of the exploitation of prostitution, pimping and slavery, every rational person wonders how such a large-scale violation of human rights and, consequently, legislation still occurs.?
The answer to the question is – like any life problem – multifaceted:
These are mostly legal illiteracy of people who are either not aware of the possibility of the legality of carrying out these activities, or due to the inability to provide adequate legal services.
Exceptions are not even the avoidance of organizers of sexual work before tax obligations, which, as our data show, also stem from the fear of criminal prosecution, which – as a result of reporting activities – could affect the operators of this industry.
An additional obstacle is (still!) The stigmatization of public records for service providers in this industry, which makes them, among all other reasons, even more vulnerable.
In the past, very little public space has been devoted to raising the awareness of the general public and, above all, sex workers about their rights, and the topic as such has been pushed to the margins as a marginal topic.
As stated at the beginning, we will describe three different cases from case law in the Republic of Slovenia, of which two cases have already been finalized, and in one case the court proceedings are still ongoing.
We are talking about legal entities that have been engaged in activities in the field of the sex industry and have therefore been the subject of criminal proceedings for “abuse of prostitution” and “trafficking in human beings”.
Companies that are until the introduction of criminal proceedings or. stopping their activities, paying taxes and contributions to many employees, they also suffered severe business consequences due to the unregulated legislative area.
Serious consequences were also suffered by the contractors within these companies, who lost their jobs and salaries due to the above, and in addition to all this, they also found themselves in extensive criminal proceedings.
The turning point in this area – for the Republic of Slovenia – occurred on 27 June 2020 in the criminal proceedings “Leskovšek”, within which the High Court in Ljubljana sent a very strong message, which is – in terms of content – a call to the legislator to regulate more than obviously vague concept “Exploitation of prostitution”.
Representatives of the Dobra Družba organization will be intensively involved in the development and regulation of issues in this area, as in the opinion of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia:
“Prior to the adoption of possible legislative solutions in this area, an in-depth discussion should be held with the professional and other interested public and representatives of sex workers.”
(Response to the parliamentary initiative of Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti regarding the legalization of prostitution on 10 January 2019 – Number: 00105-17 / 2018/5 of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia)
According to the judgment of the High Court in Ljubljana of: 29.6.2020, which was the basis for our call to the legislator to regulate the legally indefinite concept of forced prostitution, the representatives of Dobra Družba hope and wish that the necessary measures will finally be taken in this part, who will rehabilitate this legal ambiguity and thus enable legal entities that within their activities provide (have provided) legal provision or the implementation of prostitution, uninterrupted business, and the persons who wish to engage in prostitution (finally) recognized the right to self-determination and thus secure their autonomy in a broader sense.
We will also be happy to work with any other organizations representing workers in the adult industry, and we will keep the general public informed.
President of the organization Dobra Družba