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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 is under debate in the Dutch senate. In May 2013 this law has not been rectified.   National legislation Law...

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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

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

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

In Europe the professional and organized prostitution dates from the late Middle Ages. From this area 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

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?

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?

‘Prostitution is the oldest profession’, is a statement voiced by people who pride themselves on their tolerance of sex work. They utter this phrase with a tongue in the cheek. These people also mean to say that prostitution will never disappear. Without realizing it...

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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

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 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 (but were not allowed to speak) if they wear a yellow badge with the text ‘Not a whore’...

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Female clients of sex workers

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

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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

  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 books...

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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

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

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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