Forced prostitution: Johns could get years in prison

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Men who have sex with prostitutes that have been forced into the role could go to prison for four years if a new bill working its way through Parliament becomes law. Clients who suspect the prostitute is working against her will, but have sex with her anyway, could also be fined up to 20,250 euros.

The law would not “punish as many John’s as possible, but it sets the norm, and reminds them of their responsibilities,” ChristenUnie MP Gert-Jan Segers told NRC. Segers is identified as one of the Parliamentarians who helped craft the proposal.

Currently, human traffickers and pimps are punished when they are caught forcing women into prostitution, but there are no charges for clients of these women. “It is good if they get more involved by raising an alarm [against] human trafficking,” the explanation of the bill states.

However, Segers also acknowledges that it will be difficult catching men who take advantage of women forced into prostitution, and also challenging to prosecute them.

The bill is a joint proposal by left-wing government coalition partner PvdA labour party, the SP socialist party, and the socially conservative ChristenUnie. It will be presented to the Tweede Kamer, the Netherlands’ House of Representatives, later today.

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