Amsterdam to stop using 'Red Light District' in De Wallen

Red lights shining out of window brothels in Amsterdam's Red Light District
Red lights shining out of window brothels in Amsterdam's Red Light DistrictPhoto: OrioleGin/DepositPhotos

Because the words "Red Light District" explicitly refers to sex work, the term will no longer be used on signposts leading to the Wallen area, D66 alderman Victor Everhardt of Tourism said during a debate in the Amsterdam city council on Thursday, Het Parool reports.

Multiple parties in the city council agree that Amsterdam should not promote the prostitution sector as a destination, according to Het Parool. The CDA believes it is better to use "De Wallen" or "city center" on signposts, instead of "Red Light District" because the term explicitly refers to the sex workers active there.

Alderman Everhardt agrees with the opposition parties that the term "Red Light District" has the wrong connotation. "That seems to be a very unfortunate choice. It has a side effect that we do not want. I think the outcome will be that we will not use those words."

According to Everhardt, this discussion arose because a new route is being worked out to guide the crowds of tourists more efficiently through the narrow streets of the city center. Residents are involved in the development of this plan, he said. 

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