Sex workers protest closure of brothel 'windows'

The Hague - Hundreds of sex workers and supporters protested on Thursday in Amsterdam against plans to reinvigorate the city's famed red light district by closing some of the windows where sex workers sit to draw clients.

"About 250 people demonstrated in the red light district against the closure of the windows," city police spokesperson Marjolein Koek told AFP.

The famously open-minded city has proposed shutting down some of the brothels in the district to help in the fight against human trafficking and other crimes. About 115 of the 500 red and pink-lit windows have already been closed in recent years.

The demonstrating prostitutes - many masked to hide their identities - waved signs during the protest saying "Don't save us, save our windows" and "Stop closing our windows", according to Dutch TV.

‘Kicked out’

"Sex is a legal career in the Netherlands and we need support, we want to be taken seriously by politicians," said a spokesperson for the prostitutes cited by Dutch press agency ANP.

"We are, nonetheless, being treated like pariahs and kicked out of the neighbourhood without anyone asking our opinion," she added.

Prostitution has been legal in the Netherlands since 2000.

Many of the windows remained empty during the protest, bearing a written message to Amsterdam's mayor Eberhard van der Laan: "You are stealing our jobs."

About 7 000 sex workers ply their trade in Amsterdam and some 75% of them come from poorer countries, particularly in eastern Europe.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 227 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 2992 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 444 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.97
-0.1%
Rand - Pound
20.01
-0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.66
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.68
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,667.82
+0.4%
Silver
18.96
+0.8%
Palladium
2,187.50
-0.8%
Platinum
873.50
+0.6%
Brent Crude
88.49
-0.9%
Top 40
56,921
0.0%
All Share
63,264
0.0%
Resource 10
59,793
0.0%
Industrial 25
76,769
0.0%
Financial 15
13,707
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE