Are there enough window brothels in Amsterdam?
Something the mayor of Amsterdam hinted at, during the protest of prostitutes in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago, was the idea that there would be enough window brothels for sex workers. And many people that walk around in the Red Light District always wonder what the problem is. In fact, even some journalists wonder how prostitutes can be complaining that there aren't enough window brothels, if so many of them aren't occupied when they walk through the area.

So what is really going on? Are we, the prostitutes from the Red Light District, just complaining and protesting because we got bored? Or is something else going on? Are there indeed not enough workplaces for window prostitutes in Amsterdam, or is it exaggerated, and we just went to protest for nothing?
To understand these things, we first have to explain the current situation, and the difference between the day and the night time. Because there's a huge difference between working in the day, and the amount of window brothels that are available than, and working in the night and the amount of window brothels that are available during that time.

Supply and demand
First of all, it's a simple questions of supply and demand. If there's less demand, there will be less supply. And the same thing is true about Amsterdam's Red Light District. During the day there is simply less demand for prostitutes, thus resulting in fewer prostitutes working during the day, while during the night there's a very high demand for prostitutes, resulting in much more prostitutes working during the night.
This is partially because Amsterdam's Red Light District is part of the city's nightlife. Just like a bar or a club, you can open up your doors at 10 AM in the morning, but few people will show up. While during the night the crowds start to come in. And that is simply because Amsterdam's Red Light District looks most beautiful during the night. While during the day the red lights hardly contrast with the environment, during the night they set the mood for the entire neighborhood with a red glow lighting up the entire district.

The same area during the day and during the night
Therefore you will find during the day that behind only 25-30% of the windows there are prostitutes standing. A very different view from during the night, when almost behind every window there's a prostitute. And this is because there simply isn't enough demand during the day for 400 prostitutes, while during the night the streets are filled with tourists from all over the world, visiting Amsterdam's most famous neighborhood.

Enough work spaces?
One might say to those prostitutes that complain that they don't have a workplace, that they could work during the day. But fact is that it simply doesn't work like that. The reason only 20-30% of the windows are occupied during the day, is because most prostitutes simply don't make enough money during the day to benefit from it. In fact, many prostitutes that used to work during the nights and that have lost their workplace, tried working during the day, but they all came back on that decision.
The reason? They simply couldn't make enough money during the day, because the prostitutes who were already working during the day, already cover the demand for prostitution, so any newcomers will simple be redundant.  This resulted in the fact that newcomers during the day hardly ever make enough money to cover their costs. In short, it was costing them money, in stead of earning them money, thus resulting in not working during the day, because for most it simply isn't profitable at all. And this is simply because there are less customers during the day, than during the night. And less customers means less demand, and less demand means less supply is needed, thus more prostitutes are just left without work during the day.

But during the night there are plenty of customers. The Amsterdam Red Light District really comes to life during the evening and late hours, thus resulting in also more customers for us. But the problem is of course, that the city of Amsterdam in recent years has closed down more than 100 windows. An estimated 250 women lost their place to work. And not having a place to work during the night, while during the day not making enough money to make a living, this has resulted in a huge pressure on the windows during the night shifts. Girls want to work during the night, but they can't because there are simply more girls than windows.

To give you an example, my brothel owner has about 50 window brothels he rents out to prostitutes. During the day less than half are rented out, because most simply don't make any money during the day. During the nights however, there are waiting lists for women that want a place to work. The waiting list at my office at this moment is about 20 girls, and that's just for the 50 windows they own. There are many more brothel owners in Amsterdam's Red Light District, but almost everyone has waiting lists, some very long ones.
If for each 50 windows in Amsterdam, there would be a waiting list of 20 women, like how there is at my office, this would mean that there are in total about 160 women on a waiting list for a workplace during the night. That, while during the day the brothel owners have a hard time renting out any windows at all, even though windows during the day are much cheaper to rent, 80-110 euro for a day shift while during the night it's around 150-160 euro.

Empty windows
Now, for those of you who have walked in Amsterdam's Red Light District, and are now wondering about the empty windows during the night time, there is the explanation for that. Because just like an apartment or a shop, we rent our window brothels from a company which rents these places out to us, the brothel owners. And just like when you rent an apartment, just because you're not in your apartment at every minute of the day, doesn't mean you're not living there, or that you aren't renting it. And the same is true about empty window brothels during the night times. Even though a window may appear to be empty during the night, all the windows in the Red Light District during the night are being rented out. In fact, like I stated before, there's a waiting list for girls who don't have a room.

Now of course you're wondering why the girl, who rented that window that is empty, isn't working there if she rented a window. Well, there could be a lot of explanations for that. She could for example already have gone home, because she made enough money already, or perhaps it just wasn't her lucky night. Another explanation could be that she hasn't started working yet. Because remember, prostitutes decide when they start working, not the brothel owner.
But a prostitute could also have become sick, not knowing that in advance, while she already paid for her room. Or she could have just decided she wasn't feeling like going to work, or perhaps decided just to take a day off. There are many reasons why a window could be empty, but still be rented out. In the end, it's up to the prostitute herself to decide when, for how long and even if she decides to go to work, regardless of the fact if she paid for the room.

Now of course this may sound unfair to all those prostitutes that don't have a place to work, but than again, you can't force someone out of a place she paid for, to give it to another girl. Once a room is rented out, it is the decision of the sex worker herself to decide if she wants to show up or not. If she doesn't show up, of course this will result in her paying for something she isn't using, but that is her own decision. But because the city has been closing down so many window brothels already, and still wants to close down so many windows, most sex workers have become scared to leave their room even for a day, scared that they might loose their workplace to another girl, and never get a fixed room back for it anymore. Hence the girls pay for their workplace, even when they aren't using it, simply to be sure they still have a workplace once they come back.

If only there were enough workplaces for all those estimated 160 women that don't have a place to work right now. If only someone hadn't decided to close down window brothels, thinking, or at least claiming, it was to fight human trafficking and crimes.
Because reality is, that those 160 women can only wait so long, before they run out of money, and out of options. And than the question will become how to survive? Yes, they could try and go to work somewhere else, but than they would be forced to switch jobs just because the city is closing down windows. And wasn't the whole point of closing down windows to prevent from women being forced into a job in the first place? And that is even assuming they could get a job, because with the huge stigma on sex work, that is a very difficult task.
And even if they could find a job. Most of them won't get a high payed job, so their income will drop enormously from the income they used to receive as a sex worker. And this drop in income results in sex workers not being able to pay for their bills anymore, hence declining those jobs because it doesn't pay their bills.

Illegal prostitution
It should come as no surprise that illegal prostitution (prostitution without a permit) has grown in recent years, as also reports from the Ministry of Safety and Justice has stated (page 147). There is an increase in prostitution happening without a permit, while at the same time Amsterdam is heavily decreasing it's licensed prostitution with about 33,5%. The mayor of Amsterdam refuses to link these two together as what is called the waterbed effect, the effect of prostitutes being forced into illegal prostitution due to the loss of their legal workplace, but to me it seems almost impossible not to come to this conclusion.
After all, about 250 women have lost their legal workplaces in the window brothels. Working in the vacant brothels during the day does not provide enough income to survive, thus resulting in many windows be vacant during the day. While during the night there are waiting lists at brothel owners for when a window becomes available because there aren't enough windows, proving the pressure on these workplaces during the night.

There are no real alternatives for these prostitutes, as switching to another job simply doesn't generate enough income compared to the income they used to have when they were still working behind the windows. The only other alternative would be to continue working in prostitution, though illegal, like for example from their private homes or in hotels because that's the only way they can still generate the income to survive. This would also explain the increase in unlicensed prostitution (so called illegal prostitution) that the research of the government has noticed. And we have also seen this already happening in Utrecht after they closed down 165 window brothels, which resulted in an increase of illegal prostitution in local hotels.
Illegal prostitution seems to be one of the few alternatives a large group of prostitutes have had, as also in the rest of the country legal prostitution has been reduced with 40%, as the report from the government has stated. That, while the same reports also states that if there are abuses happening, such as human trafficking, exploitation, coercion and underage prostitution, they are far more likely to happen in illegal prostitution than in the legalized industry.

250 women have lost their workplace in recent years in Amsterdam's Red Light District, with 117 window brothels closing down. And while an estimated 160 of them are putting enormous pressure on the window brothels that are still available during the nights (working during the day simply isn't profitable enough), this still begs the question where the other 90 women have gone too?
And let's not forget that it's very well possible that from those 160 women that are on the waiting list with brothel owners in Amsterdam, also a portion of them will perhaps be working in illegal prostitution until a workplace will be free behind the windows. After all, some women have been on the waiting list for a long time, for some work spaces the waiting time is months long, and they may not be able to to wait that long before they get into financial problems, thus resulting in more illegal prostitution, of which the government has just stated that it's less safe there. In short, is mayor Eberhard van der Laan really helping us or pushing us further into trouble, with closing down more windows, even if it are 'less windows' than he originally planned?

Dutch version
When did Holland legalize prostitution?
Often people talk about the legalization of prostitution in Holland, which according to them happened in 2000. And even though I also say that sometimes, not to confuse things for my readers, that's not entirely true. In fact, the only thing that really happened in 2000, was that they lifted the brothel ban.
But even before 2000, when brothels were officially not legal according to the law, prostitution was already legal. In fact, doing some research about when prostitution was legalized takes us back more than 200 years ago.

So let's dive a little bit into history and see where it all began. Looking into history, it teaches us that prostitution in Holland wasn't illegal for hundreds of years, until 1570 when it became illegal. But when the French conquered Holland in 1809, they replaced that with new regulation which didn't make prostitution illegal anymore, but more strictly regulated brothels.
After the French left Holland in 1811, the country was divided on what to do with it. Some cities decided to continue with the model the French had introduced, other cities decided to do things their own way. But prostitution itself was not illegal anymore since that time.

In 1889 cities gradually started introducing brothel bans, which eventually led to a nation wide brothel ban in 1911. Even though there was a ban on brothels, most cities decided to close their eyes at times, and by the 1970's cities openly admitted that they were simply allowing it to happen, in places they determined, because it was 'necessary'.
In 1981 there were several initiatives to lift the brothel ban. Because even though prostitution was not illegal, it would allow prostitutes to work in safer environments, and to control those environments with legislation. The lifting of the brothel ban finally happened in 2000, meaning that brothels were now officially legal, while prostitution had already been legal since 1809.

People often say that prostitution was legalized with the lifting of the brothel ban in 2000. But that's not true at all. Prostitution has for more than 200 years been legal in Holland, but nearly became regulated with the lifting of the brothel ban. The idea behind lifting this ban was a very simple one. Prostitution is going to happen one way or the other. So you can pretend not to notice it, and turn your head away from things, but that just means you're also closing your eyes towards all the crimes happening in this industry. Or, you can allow it to happen, try to regulate it, and at least you have some control over what is going on, and you can protect the sex workers better, because they don't have to hide from authorities.

I always have to laugh a little bit when I see people write that the legalization of prostitution in Holland in 2000 has failed. Because actually also before that time prostitution was already legal, meaning these people aren't even correctly informed. The only thing they legalized were back than were the brothels and not prostitution itself which was already legal since 1809. And think about it, what is a better situation for sex workers or a victim of trafficking for that matter? One in where they have to work in the street and the cold in unsafe conditions? Or one where they can work safely inside, even have an alarm button for the police to respond to and were social workers can help victims? But most importantly, one place where everyone knows that it's happening and authorities can find them?
The good thing about legalizing brothels, is that you know where it's happening, so you can control and supervise it easier. Police can come in and check things, and prostitutes and their clients won't run away because it's legal. In short, if there are any problems regarding any abuses, coercion or human trafficking, you can get a quicker insight into these issues if the industry is legal and therefore visible, as opposed to when it's illegal and therefore invisible.

And recently the Dutch government did research on the situation sex workers in Holland. The conclusion of the report was that if any abuses occur, they are more likely to occur in illegal prostitution (prostitution happening without a legal permit) rather than the legalized part. In short, apparently the legalization of brothels does work and improve safety for sex workers in licensed brothels, and it does help to fight abuses. However, as also the research stated, since the coming of the internet and the closure of licensed brothels (40% has been closed down since the brothel ban was lifted), a part of the sex workers have moved into illegal prostitution since we have lost 40% of the legal work spaces, forcing them into illegal prostitution, which is were abuses are more likely to take place. Which begs the question for example why Amsterdam is closing down legal brothels, while according to the government it's much safer for sex workers over there than having to work illegal.

In short, legalizing prostitution and brothels do improve safety for sex workers. No, it's not perfect, but there's no such thing as a perfect world without crime. There is no industry in the world that is without crime, and prostitution is no exception to that. However, by legalizing prostitution and brothels, you can keep a closer eye on things, and abuses do get reduced, improving the safety for sex workers. Perhaps this is also why the researchers of the government found no evidence or signals of minors or illegal prostitutes (prostitutes working without legal papers) in the licensed prostitution.

No, prostitution wasn't legalized in 2000, but already back in 1809. It was the brothel ban that was lifted in 2000, which has created a safer working environment for sex workers who work in these legalized brothels. No minors, no women working who are not supposed to work there, and abuses are more likely to happen elsewhere than in legal prostitution. But legalizing prostitution isn't enough, because even though prostitution is completely legal in Holland, society still doesn't accept sex work as a regular job, unlike how some people might thing. On paper we are normal, but we are still treated different in reality when it comes to financial services, banking, finding a place to live and regulations.

Yes, legalizing the brothels has helped to create a saver environment for sex workers, and it has helped reducing abuses, but sex workers are still vulnerable to human trafficking as long as society doesn't want to help them, which traffickers see as a chance to help sex workers with this in order to exploit them. Legalizing prostitution and brothels is just the first step into improving the position of sex workers and fighting abuses, the final step is to accept sex work as work by removing the stigma, so that sex workers don't have to depend on traffickers in order to do their job. So Holland has still one step to take after the legalization, which is to normalize prostitution by socially accepting it as work.

Dutch version
Are clients responsible for human trafficking?
Last time I discussed the new strategy which Renate van der Zee and her anti-prostitution friends have chosen to achieve their goal: to abolish prostitution. And this new strategy revolves around making the clients look bad, in a new attempt to implement the Swedish model in The Netherlands. She even invited anti-prostitution abolitionist Julie Bindel to a symposium in order to promote her new book, and ex-victim Fiona Broadfoot had to be flown in from the UK to voice the victims, because apparently they couldn't find any victims in Holland which agreed with these ideas.
And while last time I discussed more about the statistics, which disprove almost everything Renate van der Zee and her friends are claiming, even though they come from the same research they are using, this time I'd like to focus more on the central question: can clients be partially responsible for human trafficking in the sex industry?

Because according to Renate van der Zee, if 'men keep buying sex', it stays attractive for criminals to exploit sex workers. Obviously she portrays sex workers as sad victims that can't stand up for themselves, even though recently a couple of hundred of sex workers did stand up for themselves and even demonstrated. And even though 414 of them signed a petition while there are only 290 window brothels in Amsterdam. And even though after extensive research from the Ministry of Safety and Justice they could not find one single case of trafficking, and concluded that if trafficking happens, it is more likely to happen in the illegal prostitution rather than the licensed prostitution. But Renate van der Zee avoids that by wondering if there really were prostitutes behind those masks during the protest in Amsterdam. Ridiculous of course, since even the mayor of Amsterdam acknowledged it. But this is all part of Renate van der Zee trying to frame us as the victims, and denying the existence of sex workers that aren't victims, just so she can frame our clients as the bad guys.

But, back to the question. Renate wonders, or actually states, that 'men that buy sex' are responsible for human trafficking, As if there would be no women that buy sex, and as if there would be no male sex workers, and no male victims of trafficking in prostitution But of course that doesn't help her story, so she let's that out of her story.
But the question can actually be answered very simple. No, men that buy sex aren't responsible for human trafficking. The only ones responsible for that are the human traffickers themselves. And let's not forget that human trafficking doesn't just happen in the sex industry, but in many other industries as well, such as agriculture and house keeping etc. And how can men that buy sex, be responsible for all the trafficking of people who work in agriculture, or any industry for that matter?

In short, this is nonsense. First of all, human trafficking doesn't just happen in prostitution, but in many other industries as well, and not only men pay for sex, but women as well. So, even if you would take out all the men that buy sex, human trafficking would still exist. It is typical to see how sexist Renate van der Zee makes her statements, talking only about male clients as the evildoers.
But the real question of course is, do clients have a responsibility? Is a consumer who buys a service or a product responsible for the crimes that happen in that industry? In short, if a client buys a sexual service from a victim of human trafficking, is he responsible for this crime existing? Does a client by buying a service or a product contribute to the crime. even though they are not aware of it? Or is it the fault of the human trafficker, who is the one who forces and/or exploits prostitutes?
For example, we know there are cases of babysitters being imported from other countries, and being enslaved in this country by human traffickers to do babysitting under extreme bad circumstances. Now, is the baby responsible for the crime? After all, it is because of the demands that this baby has, that this crime occurred, or was it because of the human traffickers?

Renate van der Zee wants to blame customers for human trafficking. Unjustified if you ask me, since many trafficking cases also get exposed thanks to these customers, of which some even help the victims to go to the police to press charges. Even the examples shown in Jojanneke her show, those victims were being helped by customers as well. In short, customers are often the solution rather than the problem. And this also corresponds with my personal experiences, as well as many of my other colleagues I've spoken with. Many customers are very concerned about our situation, and are very willing to help us. In fact, about a year ago, almost every client I got was asking about this, and said they could help me. And I'm not the only one getting these questions, many of us get these kind of questions on a daily base, which only proves how concerned and helpful customers are trying to be, even though most of the times this whole issue is driving us nuts. We are tired of being seen as victims in need of saving.

To me it almost sounds as if Renate van der Zee is defending the human traffickers. As if she's saying: "Those poor traffickers can't help it that they're criminals, they're only committing a crime because there are men that want to buy sex." As if criminals have no responsibility for the crime they are committing.
In short, who is responsible for a crime in a certain industry? The criminals? Or do also the customers hold a responsibility? In my eyes it would be the criminals, and the clients perhaps can help report it but they are not responsible for the crimes of others. But Renate van der Zee rather seems to defend the criminals and blame consumers for this. In her eyes it is the behavior of customers which have led to this crime. But is that really true? Does human trafficking exist because clients have a demand for trafficked women to take advantage of, or does human trafficking exist because criminals are attracted to industries which produce a lot of money?

Who is responsible for crimes? The consumer or the criminal? Let's take another example. We all know the working conditions in India in clothing factories are very poor. In fact, in many of the factories which produce our clothing, there are people working who are forced to work there, who are being beaten, have their rights violated, and even young children are working there. In these factories human trafficking and child labor is happening.
Yet, many of us still buy clothing from all these factories. Big brands sell clothing made by child labor and human trafficking. And this is not just the case for most of our clothing, but also for factories that produce cellphones. In fact, most of the computer chips that get produced, all come from companies which are tied in with child labor. In short, we all buy cellphones, computers, laptops and tablets, all produced under criminal activities.

Is the consumer, who buys an Iphone now responsible for these crimes occurring? Or are it the people that want to make big bucks by committing a crime? Is someone buying a Samsung Tablet responsible for child labor? Or are it the people who put children and people to work like this responsible? In short, is the person committing a crime responsible for the crime, or the person who buys a product or service from this person the criminal, not knowing he or she is buying it from a criminal?
Should we arrest everyone walking out of the Apple store, for aiding in child labor? Are they responsible? I'm sure some people who buy from Apple are aware of this? Or is it the people in those factories who let young children work there, the responsible ones?

Renate van der Zee her hatred towards prostitution is going so far, that she rather protects the human traffickers, and blames the customers, than actually blaming the criminals for this. After all, in almost every industry there are crimes occurring. In the clothing industry it's human trafficking and child labor. In the technology industry it's child labor. In the bank industry it's fraud. Are all the customers from those companies responsible for this? Or are it the people who violate laws, in order to make more money?

What attracts traffickers to the prostitution industry are not the men buying sex, but the money they can make. Everywhere where people can make a lot of money, you will find crime, and prostitution is no exception on that. And how is a client of a prostitute supposed to know he's using the services of a victim? After all, Renate van der Zee always claimed victims are very good at hiding it, thus resulting in the fact that the police and researchers can find so few of them. So, if even trained people can't find them, how are regular consumers supposed to know?

But Renate van der Zee would much more like to blame the average consumer of a service, than the actual criminal, thereby protecting the criminal and blaming the consumer for a crime he was not aware of. But this should come as no surprise from someone that has good relations with international prostitution abolisionists like Rachel Moran and Julie Bindel, and someone who actively supports to criminalize clients like the Swedish model does.
Renate van der Zee is simply trying to make clients look bad, by blaming them for criminal activities done by criminals, simply so she can get her beloved Swedish model in place. Renate van der Zee doesn't really care about those victims or the free working prostitutes, she just pretends to care about them, so people will think she has a point. But fact is that she's protecting criminals, by putting the responsibilities of crimes in the hands of consumers who aren't even aware of criminal activities happening.

Dutch version
The new war against clients of prostitutes
Book promotion of Renate van der Zee disguised as a symposium
Dutch abolitionist and radical feminist Renate van der Zee wrote a new book. And because she needs to sell this book, to make lots of money over it (even though she claims otherwise), she needs to promote this. And she does this by going on national TV, heavily having her friends promoting it and even an anti-prostitution organization, CKM (part of Fier Fryslan), organized an abolitionist symposium, in which she just so happens to promote her new book, and they even created a hashtag for her on Twitter to make it into a hype. Her new book is about clients of sex workers, a fetish Renate van der Zee is already focused on for a longer period of time. After all, Renate van der Zee firmly supports the Swedish model, which criminalizes clients, so writing a book about them, framing them as the 'bad guys' is the best way to achieve this.

Apparently Renate van der Zee and her select group of friends (Gert-Jan Segers from ChristenUnie, Fier Fryslan, CKM, Free a Girl, Stop The Traffik, Karina Schaapman, Frits Rouvoet, Tanja Blokland, Irene Plas, Jojanneke van den Berge, Maria Genova, Goedele Liekens etc.), who all also promote her book, have noticed they have lost the debate on coercion in sex work. The debate, which used the claim of 70% coercion, imploded in their face unexpectedly, and they didn't achieve their goal (a pimpban), so they quickly decided to claim that 'this discussion about statistics has to stop', even though they were the ones who did that. So now they have to play the game differently. And thus they shift their target from sex workers as victims to clients as the bad guys, in hopes that those clients will give them less of a fight than the sex workers they claimed to be victims.

In her book, and in her various performances in the media and during the syposium, Renate van der Zee tries to frame clients of sex workers as the 'bad guys', by claiming they are (partially) responsible for human trafficking. She mainly uses a research done by the GGD in Amsterdam among clients, called 'In gesprek met de klant' (talking with the clients), to frame them this way, by selectively using statistics in her own advantage. She tries to frame those clients as people who don't care about human trafficking or the sex workers, and wants to make it look like they are partially responsible for human trafficking to exist. Which is funny, since the same research she is using statistics from has shown that 69% of the clients feel responsible for the fate of sex workers (page 53). In short, the claim of Renate van der Zee is already proven to be false, but Renate van der Zee tries to avoid that, by using a different statistic from the same report.

For example they use the statistic of 43% of the clients which would be willing to report abuses in the sex industry from that same report (page 55). Which is weird, since that same report shows that 65,3% feels responsible for reporting abuses (page 53), and only 16.3% of the clients reports they feel it's not the responsibility to do this (page 53).
What hardly comes out however, is the reason why they don't want to report it. Because if 69% of the clients feel responsible, than why does only 43% of them want to report it? And this is because they are not capable of judging if someone is a victim of trafficking, but also they don't trust the government to improve the situation for victims if they report it (page 56). In fact, many clients state they fear the situation will only get worse if they report it, because of the way the government treats sex workers. In short, they want to, but they are not able to recognize it even if they did come across it, but also they feel the government cannot be trusted, and this is mainly due to the fact that the same government has framed sex workers for so long as victims, using false statistics.

Renate van der Zee also used a part from the research which stated that prostitutes think about their clients that 'they don't care about us' (page 61). But what she doesn't tell, is that this comes from a minority of the prostitutes of 43,6%, meaning 56,4% of the prostitutes do think their clients care, a majority. But more importantly, just that some people think this about their clients, doesn't make it true.
But the prostitutes also explain why they don't agree with this statement, as only 29,7% of the prostitutes state that their clients are capable enough of recognizing it (page 62), meaning most clients simply can't recognize it, and that's something also 55% of the clients state themselves (page 54). Also 26,2% of the prostitutes don't want their clients to meddle with their business. But more importantly, 43,6% of the prostitutes state there could be various reasons why clients don't want to report it. But since since these various reasons are all grouped together (not caring, not thinking about it, wanting to stay anonymous, don't want to get in trouble), it is impossible to state that prostitutes believe in general that their clients don't care about them, since they are not specified separately.

But the same report also states that the majority of the interviewed prostitutes describe their clients as 'good clients', being respectful, clean and sticking to the agreements. Also they state that most of their clients state that it's important to them that they visit a prostitute that is not a victim. And more importantly, none of the clients in the report ever want to use the services of a victim, and neither did they ever come across any signs that could indicate coercion (bruises, brand marks, giving a scared or frightened impression, crying, etc.) In short, exactly the opposite almost of what Renate van der Zee wants to claim, that the clients don't want to see it, and are thereby willfully ignoring the facts.

But the idea behind all these statements Renate van der Zee is making is of course to 'show' that clients don't care about the women they visit, and that they are evildoers. Because, or so explains Renate van der Zee with her anti-prostitution group, if clients don't care it means that they are allowing human trafficking to happen. And that's exactly the point they are working towards. Putting away clients as 'assholes who don't give a fuck and allow human trafficking to exist', even though the majority of the clients do feel this responsibility, just so they can claim clients should be punished and get the Swedish model introduced.

And by selecting only the statistics that work in their own advantage (like always), Renate van der Zee & Co want to make it look like it's the clients their fault that human trafficking exists. Karina Schaapman, another abolitionist who was also in the PvdA when they started Project 1012, does this during the symposium by asking 'if buying sex is a human right'. But this is of course a ridiculous statement, because so many things aren't a human right, but that doesn't make it wrong. After all, is buying a refrigerator a human right? No! Is it therefore wrong? No!
Just because buying sex, or actually buying a sexual service, is not a human right, doesn't make it wrong or anything. Even better, if you would criminalize my clients, you would make my job impossible. After all, no clients means no job. Yet, human rights state that every person on this planet has the right to free choice of employment (article 23), and Dutch law states that I have the right to decide what to do with my own body what I want (article 11).
In short it's no human right to buy sex, but so aren't any other things. But it is my right to do with my own body what I want, and it is my free choice of employment to decide what type of job I want to do. Taking away my clients, by criminalizing them, violates my human rights as well as the Dutch law.

Renate van der Zee and her anti-prostitution friends have shifted their strategy. It's not longer a debate on whether or not prostitutes do their job by choice in order to get rid of prostitution, because they have clearly lost that argument. In stead they are now attempting (again) to move towards the Swedish model, trying to frame the clients as bad guys, and get rid of prostitution in that way.
Renate van der Zee and all her friends often pretend to want to 'protect prostitutes', but they only endanger us, by stigmatizing us and our clients, making it more difficult for the sex industry to normalize and thus for prostitutes to be accepted as regular people with a regular job. This causes many difficulties for prostitutes with for example housing and financial services, causing more human trafficking. But Renate van der Zee doesn't care about that, as long as prostitution is destroyed and she can make money on it by selling her books, she's happy.

Dutch version
Police Amsterdam prefers more window brothels to re-open
After the protest which we held against the closure of our window brothels (a protest march with more than 200 sex workers), and after I personally handed over the petition signed by 414 sex workers to the mayor. The mayor went back into the city council meeting to discuss Project 1012, which is the project responsible for closing down our windows under the excuse of 'fighting trafficking', while in reality being nothing more than a real estate project.

During the city council meeting, Ariëlla Verheul from D66 Amsterdam, revealed that the chief and team-leader of the prostitution team of the police station that operates in the Red Light District, would rather see more window brothels to be re-opened than to be closed down. He expressed that he would rather be able to see if any abuses are occuring, rather than hiding those abuses. In short, also the police which has direct contact with the sex workers express the desire to re-open windows, for the safety of sex workers. Because, just like I already stated many times before, it's easier to fight crime and notice abuses happening when they happen in areas where the police can control it, rather than hiding the abuses happening in illegal prostitution by closing down safe workplaces.


City council member Ariëlla Verheul revealing what the police told her

Mayor Eberhard van der Laan later during the meeting expressed that the opinion of the chief of police is the same as his. I think this is a perfect example of how high places people have no idea of what's happening on the work floor. Apparently the chief of police has no idea that his own police officers, which work on a daily base with sex workers in the Red Light District, are loosing possible victims out of sight when they close down those window brothels.
The idea that it's better to tuck things away, rather than facing reality and acting on it, seems to be a hard reality for high placed people to understand. But of course it's only logical. After all, how can you fight a crime you can't see, because it's happening somewhere where you have no control or supervision over? It's much easier fighting crime that's happening in an area you can control and have supervision over, so you can also help the victims of those crimes.

Mayor Van der Laan expressed to me, but also again during the meeting, that according to his information the number of women that are left without a workplace due to the closure of window brothels, is very low. I have no idea where mr. Van der Laan gets his information, but if it's the same source that claims closing down windows would fight human trafficking, I'd have some serious concerns about those.
Because first of all, the problem is that nobody knows where these women ended up that were working behind those windows. This even got confirmed to me by Dennis Boutkan, from the same political party as the mayor. So how come that all of the sudden now the mayor claims to know what happened to these women? Did he receive new information that wasn't shared? Or is he just bluffing his way out of it?


The mayor of Amsterdam claims to know he knows what happened to the women

Because one other thing that got clear during the meeting, was the increase of illegal home prostitution. Women working from their own houses as sex workers. Officially that's illegal in Amsterdam. The mayor didn't want to conclude this was a direct result of the closure of window brothels, but he could also not explain why there was an increase in home prostitution, since he had difficulties to find out where exactly these things were happening and who they are.

In short, exactly the thing I warned about. Sex workers working illegal, with no supervision from authorities, increasing the chances on human trafficking. And not just home prostitution seems to be a problem. During the city center council meeting in September, regarding Project 1012, it was reported by Elise Moeskops from D66 that there was again an increase of street prostitution in the area of both 1011 and 1012. That is remarkable, since street prostitution was virtually non-existent in recent years, but now apparently has returned. Also one of the local residents who walked with the protest of sex workers last Thursday, expresses in an interview with the media, that she has seen an increase of street prostitution on the Oudekerskplein, which is in the Red Light District, something she hadn't seen in years.

So, on one hand we have a mayor that claims to know what happened to the women that lost their workplace behind the windows, even though his own party members claim not to have any idea about that. In fact, I spoke with the people from the Projectbureau 1012, which is the organization which executes project 1012, and not even they could tell me what happened to these women.
And on the other hand we receive all sorts of signals from local residents, spotting an increase in illegal prostitution on the street, near the Red Light District. And the mayor even admits there's an increase of illegal home prostitution, even though he has no idea why. But still the mayor claims that very few women don't have a place to work anymore?
Well, that could be true. Indeed perhaps they now do have a place to work, though illegal that is. After all, those women working on the street do have a place to work on the street now, however that doesn't mean that this is legal or a an improvement. And I'm also pretty sure that would not be an improvement over a window brothel, which not only provides safety and more hygiene, but also offers a roof over their head. But I doubt that the mayor knows this. After all, his source at the police states the opposite of the policemen and women that are on the street every day talking with the sex workers themselves.

The mayor told me he would write me a letter, and I'm eagerly awaiting his letter. Though I do hope that he can explain me in this letter, how exactly my position as a sex worker would be improved, if I loose my window brothel? And perhaps he can also tell me what his sources tell him about what happened to all those women that lost their legal workplace. After all, we're talking about 117 window brothels, roughly 300 women. Where are they now?
And perhaps he can also tell me why the team-leader of the police working in the Red Light District contradicts the opinion of the chief of police about the closure of windows? And perhaps he can also explain my why I know so many women that go every night from one brothel to the next, to find a workplace, if he claims that there are so few of them? To make it very simple, I handed him a petition signed by 414 sex workers from the Red Light District, while there are only 290 workplaces for them there. It doesn't take a scientist to find out that 414 women don't fit in 290 windows.

Does the mayor agree with me, that safety of humans is more important than any financial aspect? And does the mayor agree with me, that if indeed the team-leader of police states that safety of sex workers is not improved by closing down brothels, but by re-opening brothels, that it would be unwise not to follow his advise for the safety of sex workers? What is more important to the mayor? The money he will loose by quitting the project to close down more windows, or the safety and lives of sex workers? If it's the safety of sex workers, I would suggest the mayor to follow the advise of those who know best, the sex workers themselves and the local police, who have both expressed the position of sex workers is endangered by closing down window brothels. So, what's more important to you, mr. Van der Laan, the safety of sex workers or the money?

Dutch version
414 Prostitutes begin war against mayor of Amsterdam
With hundreds of sex workers marching through the streets of Amsterdam today, the sex workers made a clear statement today: Stop the closure of prostitution windows!
Since 2008 the city has closed down 117 prostitution windows, and they have another 94 windows scheduled for closure. But in recent years criticism has been rising regarding the project, because the project was being sold as a project to 'fight forced prostitution', claiming they would reduce human trafficking by closing down windows. In reality however about 300 sex workers have already lost their workplace, and another 250 girls are going to loose their workplace, and nobody knows where those girls end up. I'm sure that helps possible victims a lot!

With a bigger turn up than expected, the 200 masks we provided for the girls for the demonstration weren't enough for all the sex workers that showed up. An estimated 230 sex workers turned up for the demonstration, and another large group of supporters joined us in our march to city hall, to hand over the petition signed by sex workers and supporters to the mayor to stop closing down prostitution windows in Amsterdam.

In total 414 sex workers from the Red Light District and some sex workers from the Singel area in Amsterdam signed the petition. So if ever anyone still claims that I would be 'just one woman', here's the proof of all the women I represent. A little bit more than the 40 girls from Jojanneke I'd say.
And with only 354 windows in those two areas together, the signatures of 414 sex workers prove that a huge majority of the sex workers don't agree with the plans to close down the windows. Furthermore it also proves that behind each window is at least one woman that doesn't agree with it.
And an additional 524 supporters signed our online petition, bringing the total amount of people that signed the petition to 938 people that don't agree with closing down the windows.

With a much bigger group than expected, also the media turned out to be much more than we expected. Media from all over the world came to Amsterdam to report about this unique protest in one of the world's most famous prostitution areas. And they didn't show up for nothing.
Because even though most media report that there were 200 sex workers and supporters, we already had more than 200 sex workers alone, and on top of that came a big group of supporters.

And with more than 200 sex workers present at 18:00 at the Prostitution Information Center in Amsterdam's famous Red Light District, the march began through the Red Light District towards city hall, There we would hand out the 414 signatures of sex workers and the 524 supporters to stop closing down more windows in Amsterdam's Red Light District. We stormed into the city hall, and moved into building until the mayor showed up.

I gave a short speech to the mayor while handing out the petition and the list of demands to him. I said to him:

"You always say you care so much about sex workers. And that you care about what’s happening to us. This is what we want. These are our wishes. If you really care about us, now is the time to prove it. We don’t want to hear anymore just nice words, we want to see the changes.
People are always talking about us, but never with us. So here is our list of demands, signed by sex workers. We want project 1012 to stop. We don’t want more windows to close down."

Than the mayor started his political talk about all the things he did for us. Or, well, all the things he pretended to do for us, because he mentioned that he stopped a mandatory registration for sex workers which would violate our privacy. A strange thing, since that was his own plan in the first place, and also he recently wrote a letter to the Minister of Justice to try and violate our privacy again. So he's just lying here.

Another thing the mayor claimed to be doing for us, was making it easier for us to open up bank accounts and get insurances. But that's something he's already been talking about for two years, without ever showing any sign of results. So he didn't do that yet, he just claims to be working on it without any results at all so far. 
But beyond that, what is a business bank account, or an insurance for your company worth, if you can't work because you don't have a place to work anymore? If Van der Laan continues with Project 1012, soon that won't be necessary anymore, because there will be nothing left of the Red Light District anymore, and girls will go work in other places. And how can we pay for an insurance, that he would so kindly give us, when we can't make any money because he closed down our windows?

But I got really furious when I asked him what happened with the girls that lost their workplace already. After all, they already closed down 117 windows thus far, more than half of the windows they want to close down. But according to the mayor that would only be a small group of girls.
Is Van der Laan claiming with this, that from the 117 windows he closed down, there were hardly any women working behind those windows? If that would be the case, than why did he close those windows down using the excuse of forced prostitution as a reason? After all, if there are hardly any women working there, it would hardly be worth to spend so much money on buying those buildings.

Fact is of course that he doesn't know, he's just lying. He doesn't know, because he never comes to talk with us. He doesn't know that there are girls fighting every night to get a window to work in, and that will only get worse if more windows close down. And in the end this simply results in the fact that those women will start to work illegal on the street, because they still need to pay their bills.

Van der Laan tried to shove us away with a promise that he would close down less windows. But why would we settle for less windows, if he already closed down 117 windows? We don't just want him immediately to stop closing down windows, but also open up more windows, because there simply isn't enough place at the moment.
And above all, the only reason why he's closing down less windows, is because he doesn't have the money anymore. Because other political parties were smart enough to block him from using more taxpayers money for his project. But that still leaves the option for Van der Laan to finance his project with private investors, and that's exactly what he's been doing. 

Just one small problem, Van der Laan is now 24 million euro short for his budget of 108 million euro, and he's got trouble finding more investors. So it's not true that he wants to close down less windows, he can't buy any more windows! If it was up to him, he'd close each and every window that was scheduled to close down. But his problem is that other political parties blocked his finances from city hall, and he can't find anymore investors. So again he's pretending to do something very nice for us, while in fact we have to thank others for this.

Eberhard van der Laan said: "Trust the mayor and the new city council. The war is over."
But trust is something that must be earned, and is not something that is just given. Beyond that, what reason has he given us to trust him? He was responsible for closing down 117 windows, and it's his plan to close down 94 more windows. Is that something that would give us any reason to trust him?
He's trying to pretend like he's got a new policy, but reality is that it's the new city council that is steering him in that direction, and he's heavily resisting it. He's taking granted for the work of other political parties, and claims it as his, while all he has done for us was claiming that 400 of us get raped on a daily base, and bully our brothel owners with enormous amounts of rules, hoping one will make a mistake, and he can buy the building for a cheap price.

No Mr. Van der Laan, like I said to you: The time of nice words is over, we want action and changes. And with changes we don't mean less windows, because that could also be considered a change. But I want a change in your policy. Because you pretend to be having a different policy, but reality is that this is not due to yourself, but is gratitude of the new city council. Your policy has remained the same, you're just pretending to have a new policy, to disguise your actions.
The war will be over when you give yourself in, mr. Van der Laan, and until that time I will bring down a world of trouble and political pressure on you, until you either give in, or your time is up. Either way, you're in trouble, because you really pissed us off!

P.s. Elma Verhey, I would never be available for any interviews? Than watch me at 1:38:45 of this video:



Also AT5 has a nice video about it here.

Dutch version
Sex workers Amsterdam organize demonstration
This Thursday, on the 9th of April, sex workers working behind the windows in Amsterdam will protest against the city's plans to close down more windows in Amsterdam's Red Light District. The demonstration is aimed against the Project 1012 plan, which aims to 'clean up' the Red Light District area from 'criminogene' activities and companies, namely such as human trafficking, by closing down mainly prostitution windows.
The project that was once started by former alderman Lodewijk Asscher, with the excuse of fighting forced prostitution, in reality was nothing more than a gentrification project, involving millions of euro's and real estate deals. Politicians and city officials were paid off to sell valuable real estate to big companies for huge amounts of money, while selling the project to the audience as a crime fighting project.

So far Amsterdam's Red Light District has been reduced from 512 prostitution windows, to only 395 windows. And with the loss of 117 prostitution windows, the mayor of Amsterdam is set on closing down the other 94 windows as scheduled by the Project 1012, the workplace of approximately 250 sex workers.
The politicians in Amsterdam have always sold this project as a fight against organized crime, even though no criminal organizations were found. None of the accused brothel owners turned out to be criminals, and in fact didn't even have any criminal records or any kind. And in not one single case was it ever proven that even one sex workers that lost her workplace was forced, abused or exploited in any way. Acclaimed statistics of human trafficking in Amsterdam's Red Light District (50 to 90% was used for years by politicians), turned out to be based on hunches and not on actual research. While at the same time actual research done among sex workers themselves were put away as 'unreliable'.

Sex workers themselves have become victims. Not of the supposed organized crimes and traffickers that would be present in huge numbers, but of the city's policies, which forced them out of their only legally allowed workplaces with no compensation in return.
So far an estimated 300 women have lost their workplace, and many of them that were left without a legal workplace, turned to illegal prostitution to fill in the gap in their income. Others simply moved on to other countries with less safe workplaces, risking becoming a victim of a trafficker. Nobody from the city council of Amsterdam seemed to care, where these women ended up, that they cared so much about that they decided to close down their windows. How come that a city council who took such drastic measures to protect women, by closing down the only legal place to work they have, were all of the sudden not interested anymore what happened to those women afterwards?

Reality is that few women in the Red Light District were aware of what was going on. Many of the sex workers had seen windows closing down, but never understood why, since the city never explained their actions towards the sex workers themselves. In fact, the city seemed to be more interested in keeping sex workers in the dark about their plans. Why? Well, one could only guess, but my bet is that they didn't want sex workers to find out what really was going on, because that could cause a protest of sex workers themselves.
Most sex workers believed it was just brothel owners quitting with the brothels out of their own. Some didn't even know there were windows closing down at all. And perhaps things would have been the same for me, if I hadn't met my Dutch boyfriend who was of course very well aware of the things they were reported in the media. He explained to me, and showed me the claims that they were making about us. He made me see and hear things few of the other girls could see or hear, simply because they don't understand Dutch.

And ever since that day, I had one wish. The wish of a demonstration marsh against the closure of windows. Because reality is, that by far most sex workers choose to work here. They are not forced. They willingly choose to work here behind the windows, each for their own reasons. And fact is that they don't want to stop because other people have other plans, they want to stop when they decide to stop. Not because some money grabbing politicians want to make money on the selling of real estate to big companies. Not because other people don't like our jobs.
Sex workers from Amsterdam's Red Light District have the right to a safe workplace, and that's exactly the reason many of them came from other countries all the way to Amsterdam. Because here in Amsterdam the work is legal, it's safe, plus you can make a lot of money with all the tourists it attracts. They don't want to quit this job, because most of them aren't forced to do this work, they just want to make a lot of money. 

That is why on the 9th of April there will be a demonstration held by PROUD, the union of sex workers in Holland, against the closures of windows. The demonstration is a pet project and a long time wish of mine, to show the people that most of us aren't forced at all, but we choose to do this job by ourselves. To show that we do not agree with these closures, and it certainly doesn't help the victims of trafficking and forced prostitution. Claims that were mostly based on false statistics and gut feelings. 
I will also be handing over a petition to the mayor, signed by sex workers, pleading the mayor and the city council to stop this monstrous project, to take away more legal workplaces, and call for a re-opening of former window brothels. The petition that is signed is supporting the demonstration, as well as the list of demands PROUD has set up to the mayor and the city council. 

On the 9th of April the sex workers will take back the Red Light District from greedy politicians, and hopefully hand them over to more capable politicians, who are open to a dialogue with sex workers, rather than a dictatorship as has been the case in recent years. I also urge other cities to follow this example, like Utrecht where they also closed down many windows. Give back the brothels to the sex workers, and stop selling out your souls for the money made on real estate. The era of the sex workers has begun!

For more information about the demonstration I wish to refer you to PROUD chairwoman and spokesperson Mariska Majoor, or the PROUD website for further information.

P.s. you can also sign the petition online to support us here and follow the demonstration on Twitter on #1012protest

Dutch version
Julie Bindel's bullshit about Amsterdam
Recently my boyfriend was contacted by Julie Bindel, if he wanted to do an interview with her. Surprised as to why someone would want to interview him, rather than me, he started looking up some stuff on her on the internet. Quickly we found out that Julie Bindel as a typical radfem (radical feminist), who sees prostitution only as female abuse, and wants to get rid of prostitution, since in her opinion prostitution equals human trafficking.

And to show you a little bit about how little Julie Bindel knows about prostitution, I started looking for an article written by her about Amsterdam. After all, Amsterdam is an article almost every abolitionist writes about, and in 99% of the times it's so full of bullshit, that it's easy for me to shoot holes in their stories. And just by typing in the words 'Julie Bindel Amsterdam', I ended up on the first article, which is immediately our candidate for today (link here).
So, get ready for another article being debunked about Amsterdam, exposing the lies used by abolitionists to conflate prostitution with human trafficking, purely because of someone's personal believes, and not based on any facts. The bullshit of Julie Bindel:

The artile is called: "Why even Amsterdam doesn't want brothels"
And interesting title, since indeed Amsterdam has shown in the past few years that they'd rather get rid of prostitution brothels, than actually be proud of them. Of course we all know the real reason behind Amsterdam's closure of brothels: money and real estate. But let's see what Julie Bindel has to say about this, and if she will follow the bullshit delivered by the multiplicity, or if she'll come up with her own bullshit stories.

She writes:
"In 2000 the Dutch government decided to make it even easier for pimps, traffickers and punters by legalising the already massive and highly visible brothel trade."

Interesting. I didn't know brothel was a trade these days. And here I was, thinking brothels where simple places prostitutes work, in stead of (apparently) markets for pimps and traffickers. Of course the statement made in this part is ridiculous. Why would the job of traffickers become easier if brothels get legislation? Do rules, created by the government to control and regulate brothels, make it easier for a trafficker to let a woman work there? It doesn't make any sense. If anything, legalizing brothels and legislating it, would make it more difficult for traffickers, since now brothel owners (even if they had bad intentions) have to move around the heavy legislation surrounding their brothel, while before they didn't have to worry about a thing.

She continues that she knows the results of the legalization of brothels, with another statement that doesn't make any sense:
"Rather than afford better protection for the women, it has simply increased the market."

First of all, how does she know that the legalization hasn't offered better protection for women? The only statistics about this subject come from the evaluation report done for the Ministry of Justice. This research was done among 354 sex workers (not only women are sex workers, Julie!) all over the country. In only 8% of those sex workers were coerced. That's not little, but it's doubtful that less than 8% of the sex workers were victims before brothels were legal.
But, since there are no statistics about coercion or human trafficking from before the brothel ban was lifted, it is unknown if this has increased or decreased. The only thing we do know, is that we can measure this right now, because prostitution and brothels, as well as their clients are legal, and therefore more easily accessible to do research on, as opposed to other countries in where prostitutes are more difficult to track down for research purposes.

The statement that the market has increased seems to be false. After all, since the brothel ban was lifted in 2000, the total amount of legal workplaces has decreased with 1/3, window prostitution alone has already decreased with 673 windows (also 1/3 of the total amount). It seems therefore highly unlikely that the market would increase if there are less legal options available.
Above all, the evaluation report of the Ministry of Justice asked the same question to the 354 sex workers they questioned. Most of them answered that this has remained the same throughout the years, another large group answered they didn't know.

But Julie Bindel continues with something even funnier, when she states:
"Rather than confine the brothels to a discrete (and avoidable) part of the city, the sex industry has spilt out all over Amsterdam — including on-street."

If Julie Bindel could please tell me where prostitution has 'spilt out' in Amsterdam, because I'd love to know to which part. She claims that rather than confine brothels in just one part of the city, it has spilt out all over the place, which is the exact opposite of reality. Reality of course is that Amsterdam's Red Light District has always been where it was. It hasn't spilt out all over the city, in fact, the closure of windows in recent years HAS confined the area to a smaller (and more avoidable) part of the city.

She claims it has spilt out onto the street, which is absolute nonsense. Even the local politicians have noticed that street prostitution behind central station has heavily decreased to an almost non-existing state since the brothel ban was lifted. Street prostitution is something that rarely ever occurs, and the only visible forms of prostitution in Amsterdam have been reduced rather than spilt out all over the city.

But comedian Julie Bindel continues by saying:
"The government-funded union set up to protect them has been shunned by the vast majority of prostitutes, who remain too scared to complain."

An interesting thing, for a union that by the time this article was published (January 2013), didn't even exist anymore. In fact, the union was already active for over 20 years, when a couple of years after the brothel ban, the government decided to pull the plug on their funding. Perhaps this might explain why the vast majority of the prostitutes shunned away from it, since it didn't exist anymore!

Bindel continues with the most absurd claim of all:
"Abuse suffered by the women is now called an ‘occupational hazard’, like a stone dropped on a builder’s toe."

LOL! I'm sorry, this is just hilariously nonsense. Occupational hazard? LOL! What a complete bullshit. In fact, it seems to be more the other way around. Each abuse, in any form, even things that in other jobs would be considered domestic violence, all of the sudden is named trafficking when you're a prostitute. The idea alone that someone in this country would dismiss abuse suffered by sex workers as an 'occupational hazard', is so ridiculous, that this has become the point that Bindel shows she's not just some writer that misunderstood things, but a writer that makes stuff up.
This is absolute bullshit in it's purest form!

She continues by stating something interesting:
"Sex tourism has grown faster in Amsterdam than the regular type of tourism: as the city became the brothel of Europe, women have been imported by traffickers from Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia to meet the demand."

Has sex tourism grown faster than regular type of tourism in Amsterdam, after the brothel ban was lifted? That's very doubtful, since the brothels have always been there even before the brothel ban was lifted. They also didn't open up more brothels, in fact, they closed down brothels. The closure of a large part of the brothels in Amsterdam even made international headlines, which would have caused less sex tourism rather than more.
But, this is pure speculation. Reality is, we don't know if there is less or more tourism related to sex. Amsterdam always had an attraction due to it's famous Red Light Districts, that was already the case before the lifting of the brothel ban. If anything would have changed sex tourism in either positive or negative means, it would be negative after they announced the closure of brothels.

Then the part about traffickers trying to meet the demand. That begs the question. Would regulation by the government, regular inspections by police and other authorities attract criminals, or shy them away? You tell me.
Like I stated before, they did an evaluation in which it showed that 8% was coerced, so trafficking is happening. And for sure some traffickers may have thought Amsterdam would become an interesting place once the brothel ban was lifted. But if it was also in reality the case that traffickers had to step up their game to meet the demands, or now all of the sudden all turned to Amsterdam because brothels were legal here, sounds doubtful.
After all, more police and authority seem to scare away criminals more than to attract them, Sure, more women from Eastern Europe have come to Amsterdam, that's absolutely true. But was that the result of traffickers trying to meet their demands, or women finding a safe haven to execute their job?

The conclussion Bindel draws from this is nothing more than a bunch of nonsense:
"In other words, the pimps remained but became legit — violence was still prevalent but part of the job, and trafficking increased."

Violence never became part of the job, and it seems unlikely that more control from the police and authorities would increase trafficking. In fact, the 8% coercion shown in the evaluation report from the Ministry of Justice is already pretty low, it seems highly doubtful that before lifting the brothel ban this was much lower.

And with this statement, Julie Bindel shows she has never even read anything about Holland and prostitution, when she states:
"Support for the women to leave prostitution became almost nonexistent."

Excuse me? The list of programs that offer prostitutes support to leave prostitution is endless. In fact, some prostitutes even get it offered just when they come for a regular STD check up every time they go there. Last year the Minister of Justice even announced to invest 3 million euro annually into exit programs for prostitutes, in respond to the exit programs that already existed.
And since there are exit programs for prostitutes, unlike how Julie Bindel claims, we also have some results from those exit programs, which show that 43% of the prostitutes eventually choose to stay in prostitution rather than actually exiting it.

Bindel continues with mixing up some truths with some lies:
"The Dutch government hoped to play the role of the honourable pimp, taking its share in the proceeds of prostitution through taxation. But only 5 per cent of the women registered for tax, because no one wants to be known as a whore — however legal it may be."

What is true, is that the Dutch government indeed plays the role of the pimp, by taking it's share through taxes. But that only 5 percent would be registered for taxes is bullshit. By default all legal working prostitutes pay taxes, you don't have to register yourself to pay taxes, this happens automatically. In short, this is absolute bullshit.
And than the part about being registered as a 'whore'. In Holland it's not obligated to be registered as a prostitute. You can also register yourself under 'personal services'. Perhaps that Julie Bindel misinterpreted the numbers that only 5% are registered at the Chambers of Commerce under prostitution, and the rest is registered under personal services to avoid stigma, but I doubt she had insight in that information, since not even the Dutch government knows that.

Julie Bindel continues with the statement:
"Illegality has simply taken a new form, with an increase in trafficking, unlicensed brothels and pimping; with policing completely out of the picture, it was easier to break the laws that remained."

Now it is true that illegal prostitution has grown, but is that because it's easier to break laws and because the lifting of the brothel ban has put things completely out of the picture with the police? Or is this perhaps what happens if you make prostitution or it's clients illegal, in where all of prostitution goes underground into illegal prostitution and not just a portion like is the case in Holland?
With this piece Julie Bindel actually describes the effects of what happens with the Swedish model, or when you criminalize prostitution itself, and this is exactly the reason why Holland has chosen for a more visible model, so policing is not completely out of the picture and laws aren't broken that easily.
And if you wonder why illegal prostitution has grown, if things are so positive, well that's actually very simple. That's because Holland has regulated things too much, creating it to be more attractive to work illegal than working legal. In short, they made it legal, but create so much difficulties with regulating it, that most people prefer to avoid all those troubles all together, and work illegal.

The next thing Julie Bindel writes couldn't be further from the truth:
"Legalisation has imposed brothels on areas all over Holland, whether they want them or not. Even if a city or town opposes establishing a brothel, it must allow at least one — not doing so is contrary to the basic federal right to work."

Can I first laugh out loud hard on this quote? LOL!!!!! What a complete nonsense. Since the brothel ban was lifted in 2000 (prostitution itself hasn't been illegal in Holland since 1813), the amount of brothels and legal places to work in Holland has been decreased with 1/3 in total. Just window prostitution alone has decreased from 2006 windows to 1333 windows today, a loss of 33,5%.
Beyond that, the claim that every town or city is obligated to establish at least one brothel is complete nonsense. If only there was such a thing as a minimum amount of brothels, that at least would stop cities and towns from closing down so many places since the lifting of the brothel ban.

But all of the sudden Julie Bindel seemed to have remembered she can't write this bullshit, without adressing the fact that Amsterdam is indeed closing down things, when she writes:
"A third of Amsterdam’s bordellos have been closed due to the involvement of organised criminals and drug dealers and the increase in trafficking of women."

But Julie makes the classic mistake to claim that they closed things down due to organized crimes, drug dealers and trafficking. In fact, in none of the closed brothels it has ever been proven that any of these things were happening. In fact, not one single victim was ever found in any of the closed windows. Organized crime has never been proven, despite the fact that the city of Amsterdam ran repeated a BIBOB procedure to investigate that on all brothel owners, without anything ever popping up.
And drug dealers? What do drug dealers have to do with closing down windows? Drug dealers aren't bound to the number of windows there are, in fact, I count these days more drug dealers on the streets than when I started 5 years ago. And above all, brothels and prostitution has nothing to do with drug dealers on the streets.

Julie continues with:
"Police now acknowledge that the red-light district has mutated into a global hub for human trafficking and money laundering."

Indeed they did claim that, but than again, that claim was based on their opinion, and not on any actual research. The report 'Schone Schijn' is the main example in this case, claiming 50-85% of the women are forced, but being purely based on the opinion of 6 police officers and no actual research about this at all. In fact, actual research done among prostitutes themselves show a very different image of 8-10%. So it's not exactly the global hub for human trafficking as Julie Bindel claims.

But Julie continues with another example that she's never even been to Amsterdam:
"The streets have been infiltrated by grooming gangs seeking out young, vulnerable girls and marketing them to men as virgins who will do whatever they are told."

Anyone who's ever been to Amsterdam knows that there aren't any gangs on the streets looking for women. This above all conflicts with the fact that most women standing behind the windows aren't Dutch but Romanian or Bulgarian. So how exactly do all these gangs find Romanian and Bulgarian women in a street in Amsterdam? In short, complete bullshit.

But that doesn't stop Julie from writing more dumb bullshit, when she even claims that:
"Many of those involved in Amsterdam’s regular tourist trade — the museums and canals — fear that their visitors are vanishing along with the city’s reputation."

Seriously? The regular tourist trade in Amsterdam is scared that their visitors would end up in prostitution? You got to be kidding me! People take this serious?!

Julie Bindel continues with more information that shows how poorly informed she is:
"Women who rent the windows will soon be obliged to register as prostitutes. This will be as ineffective as the obligation on them to pay tax."

Bindle confuses the fact that the city of Amsterdam a while ago wanted to demand sex workers to be registered at the Chambers of Commerce as prostitute, and not under personal services. She confuses this with the idea that we wouldn't be registered, but that's complete bullshit. In fact, by definition all window prostitutes are registered at the Chambers of Commerce, otherwise you won't even get a window to rent by the brothel owners. So by definition we already pay taxes.
A simple example of how little Julie Bindel informed herself about this, and how much bullshit she writes about things she has no knowledge whatsoever about. Even my own mother, who knows nothing about my job, could write a better and more accurate article about this than Julie Bindel.

But Julie Bindel is not finished with bullshit:
"When the fake and government-funded union supposedly representing those involved in prostitution did a massive membership recruitment post-legalisation, only a hundred joined, and most of those were strippers and lap dancers"

Sorry to disappoint you here folks, but none of what she writes here is true. This is completely made up, you can ask any authority in Holland about this. Above all, the union she talks about, De Rode Draad, had already existed for more than 20 years before the lifting of the brothel ban, and most of them were already members of the union before the legislation.
There are however no statistics available as to how many joined, or how many members they even had at all, let alone what their occupation was. The idea that most of them were strippers and lap dancers is bullshit, which shows that Julie Bindel has little knowledge about Holland. I actually personally know some people who were leading the union back than, and most in fact were sex workers and not strippers or lap dancers, in fact, the lap dancing and stripper business isn't even so much of an industry over here to begin with.
In short, this part is completely fabricated, and none of it is true, a simple fact!

"Rather than remove the sleaziness of the red light district, it made the area more depressing than ever — full of drunken sex tourists who act as window shoppers, pointing and laughing at the women they see."

This was already the case for years before the legislation, so it's nonsense that this would have increased. This has always already been the case in Amsterdam, but it's a hell of a lot better than working in some unsafe shit hole or on the street, because brothels aren't allowed!

The rest of the article continues with some nonsense about street prostitution. Yes, street prostitution is allowed, but only in a very few places heavily controlled by the government, to protect and help those women. Often areas are being closed with as an excuse trafficking, but anyone with a little bit of brains know there's little money to be made on those women. Street prostitutes often have a drug problem, causing them to work on the streets to work to pay for their drugs. A pimp would hardly make any money on this special breed of prostitutes, they're too much hooked on drugs to care about paying off their pimp, they're more interested in drugs. And if a pimp would be giving them drugs, and taking their money, there wouldn't be enough left for them to make any money on, since they need to buy them drugs, so that's no very profitable either.

Bindel continues with her own judgement on prostitution. A twisted vision of her own twisted and distorted mind. It actually shows more how judgmental she is, than it shows how 'right' she is.
After all, a total count of the number of times she stated false facts versus true facts, comes to the conclusion that there are at least 29 false facts in this article, and only 10 facts which are true (mostly facts about what is legal). With almost 75% of all the facts in this article being pure false facts, and only 25% being true facts, all I can say is that it's a shame that articles like this are even published.
I don't know what kind of platform The Spectator is, but I wouldn't think to high about it, considering the amount of pure false facts they spread. Facts that can just be verified by making a few calls. I guess this yet again proves fact checking is not a priority to the media, as long as it sells magazines.

Dutch version
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    Romanian prostitute working in the Red Light District in Amsterdam (De Wallen), speaking out for the truth behind prostitution. Blogging about prostitution, human trafficking, forced prostitution, politics and all the myths surrounding it. Member of PROUD, the Dutch union of sex workers.