Utrecht prostitutes call on council to take over boat brothels

Prostitutes in Utrecht have made a last ditch appeal to the city council ahead of plans to close the last of the city’s licenced brothels – most of which operate on boats.

The contract with the only remaining brothel owner in the city expires next week and is not being renewed because the mayor has concerns about the company’s link with human trafficking.

That means some 300 prostitutes will be without a place to work from July 25. Prostitute representatives, experts and police have now made an ‘urgent appeal’ to mayor Aleid Wolfsen to take over the rental contracts.


According to news agency ANP, a spokeswoman for the prostitutes says many of them will now disappear into the illegal sector. Instead, they suggest forming a collective which will rent the boats directly from the council. They also want financial support to set up the cooperative.

However, Wolfson has already told RTV Utrecht there is no question of the council ‘running prostitution boats’.

If no solution is found by Friday, the women are threatening to put up a tent in front of the town hall. They may also take some form of legal action, RTV Utrecht said.

Meanwhile, two Bulgarian men aged 26 and 28 were arrested in police raids on a prostitution boat on Saturday. They face people trafficking charges.

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