Amsterdam prostitutes could work outside red light district

Amsterdam prostitutes could be allowed to work outside the red light district in a bid to avoid gawking tourists’ cameras and improve conditions

  • Prostitutes have complained camera-wielding visitors put off potential clients
  • They could be allowed to operate in hotel-style purpose-built brothels instead
  • The plan is being pushed by Amsterdam’s first female mayor, Femke Halsema 

Amsterdam could let prostitutes operate outside the city’s famed red-light district in a bid to clean up the area and keep them away from gawking tourists with cameras, officials have said. 

Prostitutes in glass-fronted booths in the Dutch capital have complained that the presence of camera-wielding visitors in the district deters potential clients. 

Under the plans sex workers could be allowed to work in safe, hotel-style purpose-built brothels insteads. 

The plan is being pushed by Amsterdam’s first female mayor, Femke Halsema. 

Amsterdam could let prostitutes operate outside the city’s famed red-light district in a bid to clean up the area and keep them away from gawking tourists with cameras (file photo)  

It has been formally proposed by three of the parties in the city’s governing coalition – Groenlinks, the progressive D66 and the Socialist Party.

‘The idea is that sex workers will have more choices than either working from home or in the touristy area where they have much less anonymity,’ said D66 councillor Alexander Hammelburg.

‘Secondly, it will solve the problem of a shortage of legal workspaces for sex workers,’ he told AFP.

Speaking to Dutch news outlet Het Parool he said: ‘There they can work in anonymity, freed from tourists who constantly take pictures.


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‘The Wallen is simply no longer the ideal place.’

The ‘Wallen’ (Dutch for ‘canal banks’), is the inner city’s red light district and includes its infamous red-framed windows where prostitutes ply their trade.

Amsterdam is taking a series of steps to ease the pressure from tourism. 

Some 18 million tourists flock to Amsterdam every year – more than the entire population of the Netherlands.

The city has taken major steps to push back against unruly visitors, mainly groups of young men who roam the Wallen at weekends, on pub crawls or to celebrate stag parties drawn by easy access to drugs and prostitution.

It has instituted stiff fines and penalties for breaking public disturbance laws, while in August it announced compulsory clean-up breaks in streets and monitoring of crowds. 

Prostitutes in glass-fronted booths in the Dutch capital have complained that the presence of camera-wielding visitors in the district deters potential clients (file photo) 

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