Plans to overhaul Amsterdam’s red-light district
Femke Halsema, Amsterdam’s new mayor, announced plans to overhaul the city’s red-light district in a bid to protect sex workers.
In what would be the most radical revamp of the sex trade there since the Dutch legalised prostitution nearly two decades ago, Halsema is proposing stopping the practice of sex workers standing on display in window-fronted rooms entirely.
The mayor said there were no plans to outlaw prostitution outright.
Under a report titled “The Future of Window Prostitution in Amsterdam”, four main scenarios are under consideration: ending street window displays, stepping up the licensing of window workers, reducing the number of city-centre brothels, and closing them down altogether and moving them elsewhere.
She said changes were needed because of social shifts including the rise of human trafficking and an increase in the number of tourists visiting the district and using their phones to take and post pictures of the women.
The options will be presented to residents and businesses at town hall meetings this month before one is chosen and put to a vote in the city council later this year.