Amsterdam prostitute plan gets Justice Min. approval

Minister Ivo Opstelten (Security and Justice) has no objection to the municipality of Amsterdam's plan to set up a prostitution business where approximately 50 women can work without a pimp. He said this in response to questions from the SGP in the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament), NOS reports.

SGP leader Van der Staaij wanted more clarity about the plan. He wanted to know whether the municipality can legally own buildings used for prostitution and whether it is wise for the government to work with "women in the window set as merchandise".  The city of Amsterdam wants to make five buildings with 19 windows available that are run by the prostitutes themselves.

According to Minister Opstelten, there are no objections. A feasibility study is currently ongoing on the project, but the minister does not think that there is any conflict of interest or legal problems, NOS reports. "Amsterdam is not itself the operator. A third party is still sought. If that fails the municipality is considering renting (the buildings, ed) itself. But that option is not the municipality's first choice."

According to Opstelten the project fits well within the government's policy to help in the approach of human trafficking and abuses within the industry. Amsterdam believes that a company in which sex workers themselves are responsible for affairs will contribute to a prostitution sector with better working conditions and without abuses.