Minister earmarks €12m to help prostitutes leave the sex industry

Justice minister Ivo Opstelten is setting aside €12m to help prostitutes leave the sex industry over the next four years.

The money will be spent on setting up a nationwide support network, Opstelten told MPs in a briefing on Monday.

The network will help former prostitutes find a job or a training course as well as somewhere to live. They will also be able to get support with addiction problems and debt counselling.

Many local councils already have programmes to help prostitutes get out of the sex trade, but coverage is not yet national, hence the extra investment, Opstelten said.

Those programmes, set up in 2008, have so far helped 1,750 women quit prostitution, Opstelten told MPs.

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