According to experts, the high cost of living and poor pay in the low-wage sector encourage prostitution. Before the corona pandemic, there were around 500 registered prostitutes and dancers in the state. There are no figures on illegal sex work.
Counselors say unpaid utility bills, like high rents, sometimes end up with people offering sex work. Before the corona pandemic, there were 10,000 sex workers across Austria. Asylum seekers are also among those affected, and they only have a few legal job opportunities to earn money.
Sex workers in Salzburg are mostly migrants, three quarters of them are mothers and one in seven of them is a grandmother. That’s what a state parliament request made by the SPÖ to the women’s state councilor Andrea Klambauer (NEOS). The women often finance several individuals with their income in their countries of origin. Almost three quarters of the women come from Romania, the others from Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia or the Czech Republic.
Help for professional reorientation
In the PiA counseling center for sex workers, the women are offered the opportunity to reorient themselves professionally and to get out of prostitution. This is usually a lengthy process, which is made even more difficult by the high cost of living in Salzburg.