In 2012, 52 percent of Zurich citizens voted in favor of the government setting aside $2 million to build drive-in structures, which are referred to as "sex boxes," in a discreet area. To operate the facilities each year, $800,000 is set aside for security and on-site social services. Previously, sex workers were mostly located at the city's riverfront area, but residents complained about the noise and traffic jams.
The sex boxes opened in 2013. Five years later, city officials have deemed the project a wild success.
These government-sanctioned areas are effective in preventing violence against sex workers and human trafficking, Nadeen Schuster, Zurich's spokesperson, told USA Today. With the government's involvement in the industry, sex workers are more protected and healthier overall. Prostitutes, who must register with public health authorities and submit to regular health checks, pay taxes on their work and contribute to social insurance.
Since they were introduced, the sex boxes have seen improvements. In 2014, other structures were added that featured plank beds, as some customers did not want to stay in their cars. Motorbikes and bicycles are allowed, "to meet the needs of the population," according to authorities, but foot traffic is not. Walk-ins are encouraged to go to another city-sanctioned prostitution area.