Amsterdam may revoke brothel licence after human trafficking claims

Amsterdam city council plans to withdraw the licence of one of the city’s biggest brothel owners because he does not do enough to discourage human trafficking.

If the licence is cancelled, it means 47 prostitution windows will close, although a final decision will not be taken until December, the Parool reports on Friday.

The paper says council officials believe Willem van der Meulen’s company does not do enough to ensure women are not forced to work in his brothels. At least three women, but possibly as many as 20, are thought to be the victims of human trafficking.

New rules

Amsterdam brought in tougher new conditions for brothel licences last year. These require brothel owners to hold an ‘introductory chat’ with prostitutes to establish that they voluntarily work in the sex industry.

Van der Meulen, a former police officer, is planning to appeal against the council’s decision and is prepared to fight it in court, the Parool says.

He runs some 13% of the red light district’s 362 prostitution windows.

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