Utrecht reorganises prostitution after shutting floating brothels

Utrecht city council has agreed a new location for the city’s prostitutes, five months after the licences for most of the city’s floating brothels were withdrawn.

Mayor Aleid Wolfsen cancelled the permits in July because of concerns the boat owners were involved in human trafficking. The boats on the Zandpad must now be removed by March, the council and local water board have agreed.

The prostitutes, some of whom had attempted to take over the boats themselves, will be relocated to a new location with 162 workspaces, local broadcaster RTV Utrecht said.

The city is also introducing a minimum age of 21 for prostitutes and says the windows must have reasonable rents. In order to prevent a monopoly developing, would-be brothel owners will only be given three-year licences for no more than 20% of the windows.