Legit sex businesses disappearing, hidden abuse, trafficking on the rise

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The number of licensed sex businesses has shown a significant decline in the past few years. Last year there were about 674 sex establishments, compared to 1,127 in 2006.

This is according to a study done by the Scientific Research and documentation Center, Het Parool reports. According to the study the decline is mostly due to the advent of the internet, but can also partly be attributed to the new licensing policy Amsterdam introduced for window brothels. 40 percent of municipalities have at least one prostitution business within its limits.

Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice sent this report, along with two others on prostitution, to the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament. In a letter accompanying the reports Van der Steur wrote that the scale of the illegal branch had not been properly mapped, but it is clear that abuses such as exploitation, unsafe sex, coercion and human trafficking do happen and mostly in the illegal branch. The licensed sex companies mostly adhere well to the requirements.

Van der Steur wants to continue with a legislative proposal to implement the same rules for the prostitution sectors across the country. He believes that uniform rules will lead to sex business being treated the same in each municipalities. This will make control easier and more attention can then be paid to illegal practices. The minister does not think that a pimp ban is necessary as the current law already has enough possibilities to punish someone forcing others into prostitution.

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