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Amsterdam’s Infamous Red-Light District Could Be Coming To An End

By Kelsey Marie

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The red-light district in Amsterdam is about to go through a complete overhaul with plans to put an end to the infamous brothels.

Amsterdam’s first female mayor, Femke Halsema, has proposed four ways to protect sex workers from being exposed to degrading conditions.

Mayor Femke Halsema
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

These four options will also tackle crime and lowering the amount of tourism in the De Wallen red-light district.

Amsterdam’s De Wallen red-light district is notorious for their sex shops, window brothels, and cafes.

Being a sex worker became a legal profession in 1988 although some form of sex work has been legal in the Netherland’s since 1830.

As a result of smartphones and social media, the red-light district has become a sight to see and Mayor Halsema believes it can be humiliating to the female sex workers.


The mayor’s office gave a statement Wednesday saying, “for many visitors, the sex workers have become no more than an attraction to look at. In some cases, this is accompanied by disruptive behavior and a disrespectful attitude to the sex workers in the window.”

The four options presented by the mayor include closing the curtain so the workers can’t be seen from the window on the street, moving brothels to new locations in Amsterdam, reducing window-style rooms and opening a hotel designated for sex workers.

These options are intended to prevent sex workers from being harassed by tourists with their smartphones as well as reducing the rising rate of sex trafficking.

According to CNN, the four options will be discussed with sex workers, residents and businesses this month and then taken to the city council in September.

The mayor’s office has confirmed these plans will be developed into a new policy on sex work.

It was announced by the city government in March that sightseeing tours of the red-light district would come to an end so sex workers could stop being treated as a spectacle.

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Kelsey Marie

Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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