Second lockdown fatal for Amsterdam's sex worker-run brothel
Amsterdam's sex worker-run brothel My Red Light is closing its doors for good. As a result of the mandatory closure due to to the coronavirus pandemic, the brothel can no longer meet its payment obligations. The sex workers, municipality, and other participants in the project were informed about the closure on Wednesday, Het Parool reports.
My Red Light was an important project for late Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan. He wanted to create a safe and clean working space where sex workers can be in charge of their own business. The brothel was opened at the initiative of the Amsterdam municipality in 2016, with locations on Boomsteeg and Oudezijds Achterburgwal.
Last spring, the 14 room brothel had to close for months due to the first coronavirus lockdown. It was allowed to reopen between July and September, during which it made enough profits to pay off some of its debts, but not enough to survive the second lock down. "We managed to survive the first lockdown. But in the second lockdown, we received zero point zero income, while we still had to pay a hefty rent. We therefore had to decide to stop," Coby van Berkum, member of My Red Light's supervisory board, said to the newspaper.
The supervisory board regrets the demise of the brothel. "Attention tot he safety and position of sex workers is of great social importance," it said in a statement. "We are very disappointed that we were not able to keep this initiative going. It is also sad for the fantastic group of sex workers and administrators. We had the social task to let women run their own business, to provide a clean workplace without human trafficking. That is now over."