Ban children from Amsterdam's Red Light District: Ombudsman

Crowded Amsterdam at night
Crowded Amsterdam at night. (Photo: sashk0/DepositPhotos)

Amsterdam Ombudsman Arre Zuurmond wants to implement an age limit for visitors to the Red Light District, he said in a report on nuisance in the area. He believes that keeping children out will help reduce the problems in the area. He did not give a specific minimum age a child must be before being allowed to enter the Red Light District, AD reports.

Over the past four months Zuurmond spent five nights a week in the Red Light District. "During the many rounds, it was noticeable that even in the late evening hours many tourists and day-trippers with young children walk across the Red Light District", he said in the report. "Some sex workers experience nuisance from groups of tourists who take photos and videos, misbehave, hang around the windows, but do not pay any money."

The Ombudsman concluded that the complaints of Red Light District residents are often justified, but seldom heard. According to him, the city center devolves into lawlessness at night. The inner city is "a jungle at night, in which survival of the fittest applies and in which the government is intolerably absent", he previously said. Zuurmond therefore published this report with possible solutions to combat crowds, nuisance, pollution and crime.

In addition to implementing an age limit, Zuurmond suggests limiting the number of cheap flights to Amsterdam through the city's shares in Schiphol, banning food and drink in certain areas, allowing debit card payments at brothels to limit cash, monitoring taxis through their GPS, and using technology to detect noise pollution. "This can be done, for example, by creating permanent noise measurement infrastructures."

According to the Ombudsman, more capacity is needed in the Red Light District. This means more police officers, but also more people in the permit departments. 

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