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Thanks to a new smartphone app, there may no longer be a need to comb the streets in search of a prostitute. The cost to book the service on the platform is about 10 euros, which is split between the Peppr and the prostitute or agency. Peppr does not charge the prostitutes or the agencies a fee for the service. She said that the site is empowering because it allows prostitutes to better assert control of their business.
Posing as a prostitute in a Turkish brothel: Correspondent confidential. Watch the video here. She noticed prostitutes standing on the street in the cold and decided there should be an easier way for them to find clients. Poppenreiter immediately thought of turning this idea into an app and after finding business partners and developing the platform, the team launched Peppr in April.
While she avoids engaging in the political debates about prostitution, she said one of the biggest problems is that sex workers are judged and stigmatized for their career choice. Poppenreiter said she hopes that with its sleek website Peppr will help improve public perception of the industry. Poppenreiter said the site is just a mediator for the sex workers to connect with clients, noting that it is not responsible for what happens after the booking.
While the app has only been in service for a few weeks, critics are already pointing out the darker side of the service. Andrea Matolcsi, the program officer for sexual violence and human trafficking at Equality Now, argues that an app like Peppr is still inherently exploiting an oppressive institution. Prostitution by any other name is still exploitation. Read more here. Legalizing and professionalizing prostitution to reduce its stigma and create a safer environment for the workers is not a new idea.
Anni Brandt-Elsweiler, a Social Democratic Party politician during the coalition, said at the time that the aim was "to improve the situation of prostitutes by giving more power back into their own hands, by strengthening their self-confidence and their legal position when dealing with clients and pimps. Advocates argued that legalization would afford the workers more rights by giving them access to pensions and other benefits.