Behind closed curtains? Amsterdam councillors back red light plan
A large majority of Amsterdam city councillors say that closing red light district brothel curtains would be a good way of reducing the problems currently being caused the overload of budget tourists.
The suggestion was made by city councillor Ilana Rooderkerk during a debate on plans to make the oldest part of the Dutch capital a better place to live.
‘Do sex workers feel respected by being gawped at?,’ Rooderkerk said. ‘You can also ask how treating sex work as a [tourist] attraction is helping improve the position of women in the ‘me too’ era.’
A QR code on the window, or a reservation system, would allow clients to find out if the sex worker was free at that moment, she said.
Rooderkerk plans to submit a motion calling for the curtains to be closed at next weeks council meeting and can count of the support of two of the three coalition parties and most of the opposition.
Mayor Femke Halsema told the Parool in a reaction she is not opposed to the idea but that sex workers themselves are unlikely to agree.
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The proposal is part of a wider package of measures to beat tourist trouble which include shutting down brothels at 3am rather than 6am, closing bars earlier and possibly banning visitors to the district from smoking marijuana outdoors.
Halsema is also looking into the option of developing a sex centre at a purpose-built location away from the inner city.
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