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Sex worker run brothel My Red Light in trouble

02/04/2017

The sex worker led brothel in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, My Red Light, is in trouble. The brothel that opened up last year May may have to close down if things don’t change. Already the brothel has decided to close down during the day time, meaning the windows of My Red Light will only be open during the night time.

One of the problems for My Red Light is the fact that they have problems renting out rooms to sex workers in the day time. It’s common knowledge that many windows in the Red Light District of Amsterdam during the day are empty, since many sex workers prefer to work during the night time, when there are more customers coming in.

My Red Light however had the intention to rent out the rooms during the day time also to sex workers who advertise online and currently work illegal at home. This way these sex workers could work legal in a brothel in one of the rooms of My Red Light, without having to work behind a window.

My Red Light therefore applied last year for a license for window prostitution as well as to allow sex workers to rent rooms there who advertise online. And although they did get their license for window prostitution, just days before the opening, My Red Light was refused a license to let sex workers rent a room at My Red Light who advertise online. As a result of that the windows during the day time of My Red Light where barely rented out.

In March therefore My Red Light decided to close down during the day, because the costs of keeping the brothel open during the day did not outweigh the profit. As a result My Red Light is only able to gain half the profit they were expecting, by only renting out rooms during the night. If this situation would continue, in the long run, My Red Light will not be able to financially survive.

My Red Light therefore pleads to change the local laws regarding window prostitution, to allow window prostitutes to be able to advertise online as well. That way also sex workers who currently work at home and advertise online could also work at My Red Light. Currently that is not allowed under the licensing for window prostitution. Window prostitutes are only allowed to advertise in their window and nothing else.

My Red Light was a initiative by the city itself to allow sex worker to run their own brothel, as opposed to other brothels, which are run by licensed brothel operators. But it seems like the rules of the city itself is keeping My Red Light from being able to survive. Rules regarding window prostitution are extremely strict, according to the city to prevent human trafficking, but in the past many brothel operators have complained the strict rules sometimes have the opposite effect.

One of the most criticized local laws regarding the license for window brothel operators, is the fact that when brothel owners report human trafficking, they risk losing their license. However, when they do not report it, they are also violating the local laws regarding their license. In short, whether they report human trafficking or not to authorities is irrelevant, there is always a risk of losing their license, and thus no right way for brothel operators to deal with cases of human trafficking.

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