Tuesday 22 September 2020

Social fund to buy four Amsterdam brothels, prostitutes will run windows themselves

Photo: Alenmax via Depositphotos.com

Photo: Alenmax via Depositphotos.com

A social investment fund has agreed to operate several brothels in Amsterdam’s red light district, the Volkskrant said on Thursday.

The Start Foundation helps vulnerable people find jobs and has previously invested in a shrimp processing plant for people with mental disabilities and an IT company focused on employing people with autism.

The foundation has now agreed to buy four buildings from the city council which had been taken over as part of the city’s clean up efforts for the district.

The foundation will set up a new company to run the buildings and the 14 windows will be rented out to a new foundation called My Red Light, the paper said. This foundation describes itself as ‘the first sex company in the Netherlands and Europe in which sex workers have control’.

The city council has been trying to combat human trafficking and exploitation in the red light district since 2007 and has bought out several notorious brothel keepers. Over 100 windows have been closed.

Permits

Sex worker lobby group Proud has described the project as deceptive. ‘Lots of sex workers want to be their own bosses but they never get a permit,’ spokeswoman Yvette Luhrs told the Volkskrant. ‘This prestige project is a very small plaster on a stinking sore.’

Rabobank is also part of the experiment and has agreed to lend money to furnish the rooms and build the website. ‘We believe in the empowerment of sex workers,’ a spokesman told the paper.

In July two Dutch pension funds said they had invested €60m into a fund to redevelop parts of Amsterdam’s red light district.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.