Sex workers reported 15,000 aggressive clients on online platform last year
Sex workers have warned each other about violent clients over 15,000 times in the past twelve months. They did so in reports via the Ugly Mugs NL platform, set up a year ago by Soa Aids Nederland.
Sex workers want to protect their colleagues with the reports. They can also use the platform to find care or help to report violent customers to the police, Soa Aids Nederland explained. Iris de Munnik of Ugly Mugs NL is pleased that the platform can help make sex work safer.
“We see a need for policies that focus on the safety and wishes of the sex worker,” she said.
Soa Aids Nederland is critical of a new bill to regulate sex work. According to the foundation, this will make sex workers more vulnerable to exploitation and violence, while “the road to care, help, and support for this group is becoming increasingly difficult.” Municipalities can still implement their own policy under this new law, the organization said.
However, due to the many different rules, it is “almost impossible for sex workers to comply with everything.” That increases the chance of becoming a victim of violence, the foundation said.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, will soon discuss the Sex Work Regulation Act. With this law, sex workers will be compelled to register as such with their municipality. State Secretary Eric van der Burg (Justice and Security) previously acknowledged that many sex workers are against this proposal. It is not a criminal offense if they do not register, but according to the State Secretary, the law is intended to address the people around them if something goes wrong.
Reporting by ANP