Over 40,000 sign petition to criminalize prostitution

Red Light District in Amsterdam
Red Light District in Amsterdam . (Photo: joyfull/DepositPhoto)

More than 40 thousand people signed a petition to make paying for sex a punishable offense. Exxpose, the Christian inspired and politically independent youth movement that initiated this petition, will hand it to the Tweede Kamer this week, the Volkskrant reports.

It took Exxpose nearly six years to get the 40 thousand signatures required to submit a petition to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. The petition was launched in 2013 after a documentary by Arab news channel Al Jazeera criticized the Netherlands for its prostitution policy. The movement hopes that the initiative will force the Kamer to put the subject on its agenda. 

The supporters of the initiative want the Netherlands to adopt a policy similar to the Swedish prostitution policy, in which paying for sex is punishable and the government helps women get out of prostitution. This will mean that vulnerable women can no longer be "bought" by men with power and money, campaign leader Wilemijn de Jong said to the newspaper. 

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