Alabaster Jar e.V. was established in 2006 by the New Zealander Patricia Green. Patricia was a pioneer in the battle against human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. She lived and worked in Thailand for many years and pioneered a similar ministry there. Patricia passed in March of 2015 in her home country New Zealand.
Some of the women mentioned in the New Testament were prostitutes. One of them gave everything she had and bought precious oil to anoint the feet of Jesus with it. This story from the gospel of Luke 7:36-50 provides the background to the name of our ministry – “Alabaster Jar”.
- We believe that God created every human being uniquely and loves every person. His love is unconditional and is available to everyone.
- The dignity of mankind must be respected at all costs. Forced prostitution reduces women to merchandise. Because of this, it is our desire, that the women regain their dignity and self-esteem.
- Many of the women we encounter feel trapped in prostitution. They see no way out of their situation. We want to help them find new perspective for their life, thus giving them new hope.
- We actively seek the women and go out on the streets where they work.
- Our cafe is a safe haven where the women can recover and relax. We offer them healthy food and drinks, conversation and practical help where possible.
- We treat the women as equals and respectfully walk side by side in their journey towards restoration of their value and integrity.
- We refer women to drug advice centres, medical facilities, emergency shelters and houses of refuge.
- We support women who want to turn their back on prostitution.
- We cooperate with the competent police force if we suspect for example that a prostituted women is under age.
- We cooperate with other organizations and networks that campaign against forced prostitution and human trafficking in Germany and Europe.
Prostitution in Germany
There is no reliable statistical data on the number of people prostituting themselves in Germany – it is estimated to be a few hundred thousand. The vast majority of them does not do this work voluntarily. Poverty is the main reason that women end up in prostitution. Many of them are from Eastern Europe and were brought to Germany under false pretences.
Since 2002, prostitution has no longer been considered immoral and therefore, has been normalized. This change in the law was intended to help the women and strengthen their rights as autonomous prostitutes. But only a few years later, in 2007, a survey conducted by the German government revealed that the law had failed and the situation has in fact deteriorated. The new law for the protection of prostitutes, passed at the beginning of 2016, aims to regulate this profession more closely again.
Trading in human beings as a commodity is a lucrative business. The International Labour Organization estimates the annual profit through human trafficking at 31 billion Dollars. In Europe, 66% of those affected are found in the sex industry.
It is almost impossible to clearly quantify modern slavery and human trafficking. Nowadays, slavery is illegal across the world. The question remains how to quantify something of which one only knows that the estimated number of unreported cases is very high, without knowing just how high it really is. Another reason for the great discrepancy in published figures is that different terms and definitions are used.
Poverty is the main cause of modern slavery. People without prospects in their homeland are often willing to take great risks for a better life. This affects mostly young people and in particular women who are often particularly destitute. This desperate situation is exploited by human traffickers. They promise a better future, an honourable job and enough money to provide for the family back home, too. One form of recruitment is the so-called “lover boy” trick, where a man pretends to be in love with a young women, makes her emotionally dependent on him and then forces her into prostitution.
The risks to the human traffickers are very low, while the profits are very high. Globalization, world-wide tourism, ever decreasing border controls, the poverty gap, corruption, the financing of civil wars and terrorism as well as decreasing prices in the sex trade are only a few of the factors that result in the ever increasing trade in human beings as a commodity.