Amsterdam first brothel without pimps
Brothel without pimps
It’s a first in Europe: a brothel run 100% by self-employed prostitutes will open in May 2017. The goal of the brothel, an initiative of Amsterdam’s city council, is to “improve the position of prostitutes” in the red light district, explains Het Parool.
In the Netherland brothel concept, the prostitutes will rent their workplace to the social foundation Start Foundation, which has bought four buildings for this purpose. The Rabobank has also invested “a few hundred thousand euros” in the project, according to the newspaper. “We will also organize seminars on health, safety at work, entrepreneurship, taxes, winning new customers…”, explains Monica of My Red Light, the company responsible for the project. The buildings have 14 red neon “storefronts” and house a total of 26 rooms.
grip of pimps
Amsterdam newspaper recalls that the local authorities have been working since 2007 to reduce the power of pimps over sex workers – mostly women – who rent the famous red neon “windows” to them. Often, they are victims of exploitation: it is the pimps who decide on working hours, rates and other working conditions.
Over years, the Amsterdam city council has also bought up buildings belonging to pimp networks in the red light district, explains De Volkskrant. After acquiring them, it often houses entrepreneurs and businesses that are not related to prostitution. “In just ten years, City Hall has managed to reduce the number of storefronts by a quarter; today, the capital has 320,” according to the newspaper.
But My Red Light’s experience and the city’s policy are not to the liking of all prostitutes, the newspaper adds:
Due of a large number shop windows closing, many prostitutes have seen their economic position deteriorate. The lack of shop windows has led to an increase in the price of rent, and for some there are even waiting lists. At present, prostitutes pay an average of 175 euros per night, compared to 165 euros last year. Those who don’t have enough clients to make their showcase profitable are forced to supplement their income by seeking other clients on the Internet or in other cities.”
According to a spokesperson for Proud, a Dutch association that defends the interests of sex workers, My Red Light is therefore only “a flagship project that won’t change the fact that more and more women are losing their jobs because of the closure of the windows.”