Peace Prize for Sr. Lea Ackermann © Siegfried Kerpf/City of Augsburg
Sister Lea Ackermann © dpa
The founder of the women's aid organization Solwodi, Sr. Lea Ackermann, has sharply criticized the German prostitution law. It creates ideal conditions for human traffickers, said the Catholic nun on Saturday evening in Augsburg.
Sr. Ackermann received in Augsburg, together with Solwodi, the with 12.500 Euro Augsburg Peace Prize. The organization Solidarity with Women in Distress fights against forced prostitution and the global trafficking of women.
Germany has one of the most liberal prostitution laws in the world, Ackermann said at the award ceremony. That is why the German sex market has grown particularly strongly in recent years: "New brothels are springing up like mushrooms, women are being carted in from abroad to meet the demand." In some places, 90 percent of prostitutes came from abroad. The 77-year-old women's rights activist reported that the women are often offered the prize at dumping prices. Some of them would be auctioned off for one euro: "This is deeply inhuman and undignified."
Ackermann therefore called for a ban on the purchase of sexual services. Germany must follow the example of Sweden, Norway or Canada, where prostitution is punished: "Only in a society in which people cannot be sold like commodities is justice possible."
Disappointed by Schwesig
The laureate was disappointed by Federal Minister for Women Manuela Schwesig (SPD). Since May one tried to give the Minister the approximately 23.000 signatures that Solwodi has collected in the meantime for a sex purchase ban. "However, she has not yet found the quarter of an hour to do so," reported Ackermann. "That really made me angry."
The laudation for the prize winner was held by the journalist and publicist Maria von Welser, who is a friend of the nun. Ackermann has "always and unwaveringly set her sights on her women, whose often hopeless fates she wants to turn into a better life with passion and love," said von Welser. The religious woman distinguishes herself by persuasiveness, courage and freedom from fear: "She does not cower, never."The woman, who would stand up for prostitutes, is at the same time a deeply religious nun. What moves them, they carry before God. Ackermann belongs to the Catholic "Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa".
The Augsburg Peace Prize has been awarded every three years since 1985. Laureates included former German President Richard von Weizsacker and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev.