Five major Dutch cities are concerned that a proposed law to regulate sex work nationally could have negative consequences for ‘vulnerable’ groups.
The mayors of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Groningen have submitted an official reaction to the new law’s online consultation raising their worries.
Although they welcome better regulation ‘to regulate the sex trade and fight human trafficking’, they fear that a national registration scheme for all prostitutes and businesses involved in sex work could be counterproductive in some cases.
‘Our concerns are not so much about the group of self-reliant, independent sex workers who work in the licensed sector or earn extra income by offering these services from their own homes (as long as they don’t cause any nuisance),’ reads the reaction of the five cities. ‘They are related to people in vulnerable situations, who are less independent or not independent at all and might also perform sex work against their will, regardless of where they work (at a home or in a sex establishment). It is with these people that abuses occur more often, and efforts must be made to reach out to them.’
The mayors believe that the new sex work law – which would criminalise unlicensed sex workers, the customers of unlicensed sex workers as well as their employers – offers ‘insufficient improvements’ for vulnerable sex workers.