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Amsterdam’s Mayor Wants To Shut Down Red Light District ‘Human Windows’

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Amsterdam’s Mayor Wants To Shut Down Red Light District ‘Human Windows’

Amsterdam's first female mayor, Femke Halsema, wants to shut the windows in the city's red light district, where sex workers stand in view of passersby and are gawped at by millions of tourists.

According to the Telegraph, Halsema has given a number of interviews, in which she says "the humiliation of women by large groups of tourists" is "unacceptable".

Credit: Utrecht Robin/ABACA/PA Images
Credit: Utrecht Robin/ABACA/PA Images

The mayor has come up with several proposals for the 330 windows to change the status quo.

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These include closing the curtains of the windows so that sex workers can no longer be seen for the street, relocating some or all brothels from the city centre to another area or a sex work hotel, or, conversely, to create even more window brothels in the area in which they are currently located, though that solution is considered to be unlikely.

Halsema told the paper that the traditional and licensed form of sex work in certain parts of the city centre was "under pressure due to the growing number of visitors to Amsterdam".

Amsterdam's mayor, Femke Halsema. Credit: Utrecht Robin/ABACAPRESS.COM/ABACA/PA Images
Amsterdam's mayor, Femke Halsema. Credit: Utrecht Robin/ABACAPRESS.COM/ABACA/PA Images

"For many visitors, the sex workers have become no more than an attraction to look at," she added.

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"In some cases this is accompanied by disruptive behaviour and a disrespectful attitude... At the same time, there has also been a major increase in unlicensed, invisible prostitution."

Credit: Utrecht Robin/ABACA/PA Images
Credit: Utrecht Robin/ABACA/PA Images

The proposals follow recent news that Amsterdam will ban guided tours of its red light district from 2020.

In a statement at the time, Udo Kock, Amsterdam's deputy mayor, said: "We are banning tours that take visitors along sex workers' windows, not only because we want to prevent overcrowding in the red-light district, but also because it is not respectful to sex workers. It is outdated to treat sex workers as a tourist attraction."

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Credit: Utrecht Robin/ABACA/PA Images
Credit: Utrecht Robin/ABACA/PA Images

Research conducted by the council found that 80 per cent of sex workers said gawping tourists were bad for business.

The ban will come into effect on 1st January 2020.

Featured Image Credit: Utrecht Robin/ABACAPRESS.COM/ABACA/PA Images

Topics: Life News

Deborah Cicurel
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