Tuesday 22 June 2021

Council supported brothel shuts down as lockdown dims the red lights

Amsterdam’s red light district during the spring lockdown. Credit: Alex Nicholls-Lee

My Red Light, a controversial Amsterdam council backed experiment to help sex workers run their own brothel in the city’s notorious red light district, is closing its doors for good, the Parool reported on Thursday.

The current lockdown, which put a stop to sex work, means the not-for-profit brothel can no longer meet its financial obligations – rent in particular – and there is no option other than to shut down permanently, a spokeswoman for the supervisory board told the paper.

The brothel, which has 14 windows, is housed in four buildings bought by the city some 12 years ago from red light district lynch pin Charles Geerts. Amsterdam’s former mayor Eberhard van der Laan was one of the main drivers of the project, which formally opened in 2016.

In 2019, an independent report commissioned by the council said the brothel should never have been started and that human trafficking was not being taken seriously

The parties which now run Amsterdam city council have drawn up a string of proposals for dealing with the city’s red light district and moving prostitution to a new location is one of the options.

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