The Situation in the Netherlands

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Prostitutes, Pimps, Clients: defining the Sex Industry

To legalise prostitution is to deny civil and human rights

Failure to legalise prostitution is to deny civil and human rights

New Technologies and the Sex Industry

How Many Sex Workers?

Where do Europe's Sex workers come from?

What is Trafficking for the Purposes of Sexual Exploitation?

Can Legalising Prostitution bring an end to Trafficking for the Purposes of Sexual Exploitation?

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The information here is synthesised from Trafficking in Women and the World Sex Guide

 

 

Population:

16 million

Number of prostitutes:

25,000 50,000

Of which migrant:

17,000 25,000

Age of consent:

16

 

De Jure

Prostitution:

Fully legal

Trafficking:

Trafficking is a crime in Holland which carries a 5-8 year sentence.

Prostitution has been legal in the Netherlands since January 1988, when it was defined as a legal profession. This legalised status allows prostitutes to have access to the social security system, since 1996 sex workers have paid income tax, and reforms in 1999 gave prostitution the same status as any other form of labour.

Prostitutes are not registered and are not required to get health checks. Pimping and facilitating prostitution is illegal, this also applies also to maintaining a brothel Sex club owners may not hire illegal immigrant prostitutes.

The age of consent is 16.  This is also the minimum age for visiting a prostitute (not enforced) or acting in a 'soft' pornographic movie (enforced), whereas it is 18 for 'hard core' acting or prostitution work.  (More details are available)

In 1994 the Dutch penal code was revised to increase the maximum sentence for trafficking from 5 to 6 years of imprisonment. In cases involving trafficking in children, the sentence is now ten years.

 

De Facto

The Brothel Act is seldom enforced as brothels advertise openly. Cities can regulate prostitution as they see fit and in practice often confine street prostitution to certain parts of town and impose conditions on brothels.

Women work in 'window brothels', on the streets and in clubs. Near the borders with Germany and Belgium there is street prostitution. In rural areas there are so-called 'sex farms', brothels which provides living quarters for the prostitutes. In urban areas window prostitution is the most frequent form. For example, in Amsterdam 75% of the 50 000 women in the sex industry work in the window brothels located in the red-light district known as the Wallen. In Rotterdam too, trafficked women work mostly in clubs and windows.

 

For more information on the situation in Holland, see the Netherlands links section

 

 

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