A city centre brothel set up with the help of Amsterdam city council to help sex workers take charge of their own affairs is on the verge of closure, the Parool reported this weekend.
The My Red Light brothel has been closed during the day since the beginning of March and may now be forced to close down altogether because of tough council regulations, the paper said.
‘My Red Lght is in the spotlight and we think we are checked up on more than other brothels,’ the organisation’s chairwoman Justine le Clercq told the paper. ‘It was set up as an experiment but now we are treated just like the average brothel owner.
‘The council says we are an ordinary brothel and have to stick to the rules. But this project can never be a success given the current city bylaws,’ she said.
For example, four of the eight sex workers who wanted to work for My Red Light failed to make it through police screening because they had a police record, according to the Parool.
‘But we want to be able to take on sex workers who have a mark against their name,’ one of the brothel’s management board told the paper. ‘We are not talking about women with a criminal past.’
The brothel has also run into problems with offering space to prostitutes who use social media and internet to bring in clients. This, the organisation says, has made a severe dent in the brothel’s potential finances.
A spokesman for the city council told the paper that is was known since the beginning that My Red Light would be treated like any other brothel. That means that advertising for customers is not allowed, the spokesman said.
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