The debate on the future of Amsterdam’s Red Light District was once again met with opposing ideas and interests by residents and sex workers during the last meeting held on Friday at the Compagnietheater.
After nine years in operation, the Amsterdam Underground tour - started by the De Regenboog Groep, an NGO that works with homeless people - will now be in the hands of the formerly homeless guides who have lived the experiences the tour aims to illuminate to tourists. De Regenboog made the decision to form a cooperative for the four current volunteers to own the business and have full control of their narratives.
The first meeting to discuss the future of Amsterdam’s Red Light District was met with disagreement and polarizing opinions on Wednesday evening at the Compagnietheater, the 18th century former church that sits in De Wallen. The meeting, organized by Mayor Femke Halsema, gathered residents, sex workers, and entrepreneurs who will be affected by the proposed changes for the area.
The vast majority of people who work in the Netherlands' sex industry face some form of violence, mostly from customers, according to a study by Aidsfonds, Soa Aids Nederland and sex workers' interest group Proud, Het Parool reports.
My Red Light, the sex worker-run window brothel that opened in Amsterdam's Red Light District in May last year, is facing financial difficulties. The brothel can't find anyone to rent its rooms over day due to the municipality's strict rules on who can rent the rooms, and strict screenings on sex workers who work there, board member Marcel Heyman said on Facebook.
Metje Blaak, former sex worker and a candidate for 50Plus in the Amsterdam municipal elections, wants to charge an entry fee of five euros for the Red Light District. According to her, this is an effective way to reduce crowds in the area and to make sure that sex workers aren't driven away, the Telegraaf reports.
Amsterdam is implementing stricter rules for guided tours through the Red Light District from April, the city announced. The new rules, which are intended to reduce crowds in the busy area and to protect the privacy of sex workers, include a ban on tour groups larger than 20 people, and not allowing photographs to be taken of sex workers.
"The number of organized tours has increased considerably in recent years. At the busiest moments, such as between 11 and 12 in the morning, 27 groups visit the Oudekerksplein in an hour", the city of Amsterdam said in a statement.
Amsterdam's policy that prostitutes must share personal information with brothel owners, is in violation of the Personal Data Protection Act, the court in Amsterdam ruled in a case filed by 10 window brothels against the municipality, NU.nl reports.
In a city center that is filled with co-working spaces, it is not particularly surprising that a new hub for sex workers in Amsterdam's famed Red Light District is using ideas like flexible room rental agreements, a website showing who is working at any given time and what their skills are, and a sort-of networking lounge like those seen in many of the city's shared working environments. My Red Light was unveiled to journalists on Friday, over two years after the city's mayor first floated the idea of a brothel completely managed and run by sex workers.
A plan to encourage sex workers in Amsterdam's famed Red Light District to develop their chosen profession in a more entrepreneurial fashion by managing their own brothel took a big step forward after a feasibility study conducted by the city showed a good likelihood of success. "It is good for the empowerment of sex workers," Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said at a press conference on Thursday, praising the notion that more sex workers could gain more independence.
A shocking number of male prostitutes in Limburg who find their customers online have a sexually transmitted disease.
The VVD wants to introduce a "personal entrepreneurs license" for prostitutes so that they can work independently and thus be less dependent on the operators of window brothels and sex clubs
"It's a funny, playful project and not meant to be a statement," artist Luis Risi says of his street art project, "The Red Mice District. The pieces feature mice made to look like pin-up girls in risqué outfits, each mounted in a white frame with a bright red light shining upon them. He had no intention of making a moral judgment or proclamation about prostitution when he started hanging his street art pictures around De Wallen, Amsterdam’s most famous Red Light District.
The closure of the Zandpad red light district in Utrecht was a hasty and poorly thought-out decision that led to the victimization of hundreds of prostitutes, according to a report by the Center for Information & Research on Organized Crime released on Wednesday. The July 2013 shutdown of the houseboat-based window prostitution area caused problems for sex workers financially, mentally and physically, the report states.
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan has found a party that is interested in the premises of the brothel the municipality aims to open. The municipality announced in February that it wants to set up a brothel that is run by prostitutes themselves.
Proud, the association for sex workers, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Amsterdam on behalf of the at least 24 window prostitutes who are unable to use their workplaces in the red light district from today. Today, May 1st, the Netherlands celebrates Labor Day.
Triodos Bank may refuse opening an account for Proud, an association of sex workers, wrote Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem to parliament on Thursday. The bank gave sufficient reason in denying the organization access to its services, according to the minister.
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan received a petition from some 200 sex workers and sympathizers on Thursday, AT5 reports. The protest was organized by PROUD, the association for sex workers, against the closing of window brothels in Amsterdam
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan has decided to close part of an Amsterdam window prostitution business because serious abuses were detected, the city municipality announced in a press release. The business will now continue with 29 instead of 47 windows.
The association for sex workers PROUD has organized a demonstration against the closing of window brothels in Amsterdam on Thursday, when Project 1012 appears on the City Council Agenda.
PvdA parliamentarian Marith Rebel thinks that as sex work is a legal profession, sex workers should be treated as fully fledged freelancers, NOS reports. This means that they should be able to open bank accounts and deduct the cost of clothing and care from tax.
Minister Ivo Opstelten (Security and Justice) has no objection to the municipality of Amsterdam's plan to set up a prostitution business where approximately 50 women can work without a pimp. He said this in response to questions from the SGP in the Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament), NOS reports.
Utrecht is against prostitution in homes. Part of the municipal council had proposed at-home prostitution as a temporary solution for the women who have been unable to work as prostitute in Utrecht since 2013.