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Monday, December 22, 1997 Published at 21:11 GMT



World: Europe

Tragedy of orphans left behind in `sin town'
image: [ Orphans like these are abandoned every week by young Czech prostitutes ]
Orphans like these are abandoned every week by young Czech prostitutes

German sex tourists have been accused of leaving behind a tragic legacy in a small town just across the Czech border.

Around 200 brothels have sprung up along the E55 highway, which runs throught the town of Dubi - one for every 25 residents - in the last eight years, replacing the Iron Curtain with an Iron Suspender Belt.

Police in the Czech Republic claim German visitors offer twice the normal price to have unprotected sex with prostitutes - and even more if they are pregnant.

There is a local bye-law forbidding prostitution but Dubi police chief Jan Ryska is powerless to stop the trade, which is dominated by the Czech and Russian mafia.

Mr Ryska says: "I'm disgusted by it. It has stopped all normal life in this town.

"This street could have been full of restaurants and shops for tourists but instead it's full of brothels. I can't take my children anywhere near there."


[ image: Police chief Jan Ryska is frustrated]
Police chief Jan Ryska is frustrated
Every week a newborn baby arrives at the maternity hospital in nearby Teplice.

Dr Jan Kahanek says: "I was on duty when a woman came in from E55.

"She was eight months pregnant and about to go into premature labour .We managed to stop it but the next day her pimp made her go back on the street."


[ image: Brothels like this have sprung up on the border]
Brothels like this have sprung up on the border
Many of the prostitutes are of Slovak gipsy origin and because they earn ten times as much as the average Czech wage they are deeply resented.

Most babies are put up for adoption but racism is deep-rooted and even childless couples are reluctant to adopt a gipsy child.

Jirina Reitrova, who runs the Teplice Children's Home, says they have tried to persuade the call girls to keep their children but they have had no success.

Some under-age prostitutes often end up in the same children's home as their offspring.

With prices much cheaper than in Germany there are many `sex bargains' to be had for visitor to Dubi and trade on the E55 is flourishing, which means more babies are facing a bleak future.






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