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Numbers and sex work

Numbers and sex work

The secrecy surrounding sex work is reflected in the poor statistics about people who are involved in it. How many sex workers, how many clients and how many facilities are there? No one knows exactly. Most of the time, people are just guessing. It turns out to be...

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Posters at busstops

Posters at busstops

From July 24th till August 7 a curious poster can be seen at five bus and tram stops in Amsterdam. The text of the press release Why the campaign ‘sex work = work’ ? Across the globe sex workers fight to improve their living and working conditions. Wherever possible...

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Prostitution laws in the Netherlands

Prostitution laws in the Netherlands

The Legal Framework for prostitution in the Netherlands has not changed since 2000. On the moment of writing this report (2012) the Law Regulation Prostitution iand its successor is still in 2013 under debate in the Dutch senate. I   National legislation Law...

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What was legalized in the Netherlands in 2000?

What was legalized in the Netherlands in 2000?

What about the prostitutions? (Hoe moet het nu met de prostituties?) was one of the question foreign journalists asked the Red Thread when in 2000 the ban on brothels was lifted. Many people are still in the dark about what was the lifting of the ban on brothels...

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Video’s on the book Designing Prostitution Policy English

Video’s on the book Designing Prostitution Policy English

The Dutch Documentary Maker Eveline van Dijck made some videos in which Henk Wagenaar presents some major issues and conclusions of the book. Just click on: Major conclusions Prostitution Policy and Stigma Prostitution Policy = Morality Politics Prostitution Policy in...

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The complexities of prostitution policy: a new book

The complexities of prostitution policy: a new book

On 27th of April 2017 the following book was published by Policy Press in Bristol: Designing Prostitution Policy: Intention and Reality in Regulation the Sex Trade, by Wagenaar, H., Amesberger, H. and Altink, S. The abstract of the book: This is one of the few books...

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A very short history of prostitution in the Netherlands

A very short history of prostitution in the Netherlands

In Europe the professional and organized prostitution dates from the late Middle Ages. From this era stem the first documents about this phenomenon in the Low Countries. Several authors, (Van de Pol, 1996, Volmuller, 1966, Stemvers, 1985 and Meyer, 1989) mention the...

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Sex workers and their trade union in the Netherlands

Sex workers and their trade union in the Netherlands

In the history of the Red Thread the plan to found a trade union of sex workers has popped up every now and then. The Red Thread had a long standing discussion about this with the FNV (Federation of Trade Unions in the Netherlands), the largest national trade union....

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The legalization of prostitution, a mistake?

The legalization of prostitution, a mistake?

In the Netherlands brothel keeping became a legal activity in the year 2000. Some journalists have interpreted this legal change as the legalization of pimping. That is not correct. Pimping in combination with exploitation, deception and violence has always been...

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The Oldest Profession?

The Oldest Profession?

‘Prostitution is the oldest profession’, is a statement with a tongue in the cheekvoiced by people who pride themselves on their tolerance of sex work. These people usually agree that prostitution will never disappear. Without realizing it they are basing themselves...

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The end of the Red Thread: The Patricia Perquin scandal

The end of the Red Thread: The Patricia Perquin scandal

Designing prostitution policy is a complicated affair. A necessary condition for a humane prostitution policy is that the subjects who are affected by policy are being heard. In the case of Amsterdam it would be self-evident to turn to the Red Thread. But the...

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A short history of the Red Thread

A short history of the Red Thread

The Red Thread was founded in 1985 by (ex) sex workers. Its mission was a better social position for all sex workers who were active in the Netherlands. Sex workers have always formed the core of the organization. The Red Thread had a turbulent history of successes,...

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The Pink Thread, feminists support the Red Thread

The Pink Thread, feminists support the Red Thread

The time: November 1997. In Frankfurt in Germany a conference is held on sex work organized by sex workers’ organizations. Allies, that is to say non- sex workers could attend if they wear a yellow badge with the text ‘Not a whore’ Nicht Hure, but they were not...

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Female clients of sex workers

Female clients of sex workers

In 1995 Mariska Majoor of the Prostitution Information Centre in Amsterdam put males behind the window in order to attract female clients. Though meant as a playful experiment, it was met with fierce aggression, especially from one female manager of window brothels....

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The Red Light Museum in Amsterdam (English)

The Red Light Museum in Amsterdam (English)

‘Unfortunately we can’t give you a receipt for the ticket. The till is out of order’, was the first thing we learned at the Red Light Secrets Museum when we visited it in 2014, right after its opening. It was the only realism Marianne Jonker (ICSRE, initiator of the...

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Publications of Sietske Altink in English

Publications of Sietske Altink in English

  The most recent: On 27th of April 2017 the following book was published by Policy Press in Bristol: Designing Prostitution Policy: Intention and Reality in Regulation the Sex Trade, by Wagenaar, H., Amesberger, H. and Altink, S. Download the link to google...

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A short history of sex workers’ movements

A short history of sex workers’ movements

The protests of sex workers against unfair regulations in the past is unfortunately badly documented. But we know that for example in France from roughly 1300 onwards unofficial ‘queens of the debauched’ (reines des ribauds) sort of organized protests against the...

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Gentrification in the Amsterdam Red Light District

Gentrification in the Amsterdam Red Light District

On 5 februari 2015 the mayor of Amsterdam announced that the municipality would try to find a way for sex workers to exploit some of the window brothels. At this stage it is not quite clear how this will be financed. As prices of the real estate where the windows are...

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Scholars and sex workers join forces

Scholars and sex workers join forces

Proud - letter Tweede Kamer - English On November 27, 2014 the Dutch Lower House accepted a resolution that was put forward by two small Christian fundamentalist parties, to allocate several hundred thousand Euros for a study into the relation of the legalisation of...

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Glossies of The Red Thread in English

Glossies of The Red Thread in English

The Red Thread had several glossies published. Two of them were in English. The first was published in 2010, the second in 2012. They contain mostly articles by sex workers themselves. Download: S Work : 2010. Download: S Work: 2011.

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Documentaries by Eveline van Dijck, English subtitled.

Documentaries by Eveline van Dijck, English subtitled.

Eveline van Dijck made two documentaries voor HUMAN, the broadcasting company for humanists. Sex worker Josje answers questions by school pupils. Click here. (English subtitled) The English version: click here And: Strong Women, interviews with victims of human...

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Reading matter

Reading matter

In this post you'll find links to interesting reading matter. On January 26 2014 Hendrik Wagenaar sent another link: (click here) It is remarkable that a quality paper like The Guardian has such a narrow, populist and incorrect view on Dutch law on prostitution. In...

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Australia, prostitution reformed

Australia, prostitution reformed

'Over there, next to the Opera House, our first colleagues came ashore' so told me an Australian sex worker during a rally to celebrate International Sex Workers' Day in Sydney. 'It is true, prostitution was not a crime you could get deported to Australia for, but...

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State of affairs in the Netherlands: 2012

State of affairs in the Netherlands: 2012

Where does prostitution take place. Windowprostitution Windowprostitution. This usually takes place in designated areas where the windows are on a public road. Sometimes the windows are situated around a courtyard. Two of the participating cities had large window...

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International Comparitive Study of Prostitution Policy

International Comparitive Study of Prostitution Policy

Click  hier to download the report Comment on the „Final Report of the International Comparative Study of Prostitution Policy: Austria and the Netherlands, by Hendrik Wagenaar, Sietske Altink and Helga Amesberger Birgit Sauer, Vienna, June 10th, 2013 First of all I...

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Entry in sex work

Entry in sex work

In collecting data about sex work it is quite common to ask the workers why they have decided to become a sex worker. In every answer to this question, money is a common denominator. [i] All authors agree that a financial incentive plays a major part in the decision...

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Labour Relations in Sex Work

Labour Relations in Sex Work

In countries like ours we have labour laws, there are rules and we have ideas about what is a good employer. This is the result of more than a century of political activity, of trade unions and a lot of court cases. But that is not the case in prostitution. In the...

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Registration in the Netherlands

Registration in the Netherlands

One of the big issues of debate now in the Netherlands is the registration of sex workers. The aim would be prevention of trafficking. In the past there have been attempts to register prostitutes, for various reasons. Did registration ever attain its goal? The Romans...

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