Amsterdam to raise prostitution age, bring in brothel closing hours
Wednesday 27 February 2013
Amsterdam city council has decided to press ahead with increasing the minimum age for prostitution to 21 and will also introduce early morning closing hours for all brothels.
Council research shows young women are most likely to be the victims of forced prostitution and exploitation, hence the decision to raise the prostitution age from 18 to 21.
In addition, the council wants all brothels and prostitution windows closed between 04.00 and 09.00 because of the lack of social control on the streets in the early hours of the morning.
Health and safety
Sex industry bosses are to be given more responsibility for ensuring prostitutes are not exploited and must produce a business plan showing how they will ensure the rights, health and safety of sex workers are protected.
This will include a language test and shorter working hours, Nos television said.
The new rules, first mooted last week, have now been approved by the city's executive. In order to make them legally binding, they will be incorporated into local by-laws.
The upper house of parliament is currently considering legislation which would require all prostitutes to register as sex workers and force clients to check whether the prostitute is registered or not.
Both these requirements have come in for heavy criticism and the legislation has been delayed, prompting Amsterdam to go it alone. The city has an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 prostitutes, many of whom come from abroad.
Amsterdam may go it alone on prostitution policy
Labour party considers a ban on visits to a prostitute