Closing Red Light District pushed sex industry online: Fmr. sex worker

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Prostitution, the oldest profession in the world.. ()

Today the Council of State will rule in a long-running case about closed window brothels on Bokkingshang in Deventer. Six years ago the municipality closed 33 of the 44 prostitution windows in the city's Red Light District. According to former prostitute Metje Blaak, all this did was move the sex industry online, De Stentor reports.

According to Blaak, when you now walk down Bokkingshang, there is much less to choose from. But that does not mean the demand for prostitutes disappeared, she said. On Kinky.nl there are about 60 ads of ladies servicing the Deventer sex market daily. "The need remains, so you get a shift to the internet. There you have no supervision at all." Blaak said. 

The municipality closed the majority of the window brothels in 2011. This happened after an investigation concluded that there is a risk that the permit for the brothels will be misused for criminal activities such as money laundering, according to the newspaper. So the municipality denied the intended operator's license for the brothels. 

The municipality agrees that sex work in the city is increasingly moving online, though disagrees that it has anything to do with the closing of the window brothels. According to the municipality, it is a nationwide trend, just like shopping for clothes or groceries is also moving online. 

On Thursday the case between the municipality and intended operator, Azalea BV, is finally being handled in the Council of State, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands. Blaak fears that if Deventer wins the case, it will be the end of Bokkingshang. 

The former prostitute also believes that something other than fear of criminal activities is going on. She points to the municipality. "They're stretching things out so long that soon no one will want to occupy the windows." She said to De Stentor. "This is pure strategy. If they win this, you'll see that they will soon buy out the other operators."

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