Tuesday, 21 July 2015 - 10:47
Prostitutes under 21 won't be prosecuted
Prostitutes under the age of 21 years will not be prosecuted. With this measure Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice hopes that young prostitutes will be more willing to turn to the police to report sexual exploitation. The Justice Minister announced this in answers to parliamentary questions about the amendment to the legislative proposal Regulating prostitution and combat abuses in the sex industry. This bill should insure that prostitutes can exercise their profession in a safer and healthier way. Van der Steur believes that prosecuting young prostitutes does not contribute to strengthening their position, even if they are partly responsible. He feels that by not doing so, another threshold is dropped that stands against young prostitutes seeking help. The 21 years age limit is still in effect for customers and operators of brothels or pimps. A customer caught having sex with a prostitute under the age of 21 risks a prison sentence of up to 1 year. Operators who have young prostitutes working for them will be prosecuted. A licensing system for the sex industry has also been proposed. This system will set uniform requirements for operators of prostitution businesses nationwide and ensure that licensed businesses provide a safe and responsible environment. Escort services will soon also fall under the licensing system.