Lifting brothel ban not worked, says mayor

The lifting of the ban on brothels in 200 has not improved the position of prostitutes, Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen said on Thursday.

‘The legalisation of prostitution has not achieved what many had hoped. We still come up against harrowing situations in which women are abused,’ Cohen said.
The mayor was speaking at a press conference announcing that one of the city’s biggest sex bosses, Charles Geerts, had agreed to sell 18 of his red light district buildings to housing corporation Het Oosten with financial help from the city council.
‘A serious re-evaluation of the prostitution law needs to be made,’ Cohen said. The mayor also called for a legal ban on pimping and said the process of licensing brothels should be tightened up.
Amsterdam city council is in the process of cleaning up its notorious red light district. At the end of last year it withdrew 33 brothel licences because their operators had criminal connections. The city council and Het Oosten now own 83 buildings in the red light area.
A spokeswoman for the prostitutes organisation Rode Draad said she was not impressed by Cohen’s suggestions. Prostitutes should be subject to fewer laws, which would make it easier for them to operate independently, she said.
In its budget plans announced earlier this week, the cabient said it is to introduce a law which will permit local councils to refuse to allow prostitution within their boundaries. The government has also pledged to come down harder on human trafficking.

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