Dumb politicians
Today they announced that three political parties, ChristenUnie (Christian political party), PVDA (labor party) and SP (socialistic party), are going to work on a plan to criminalize clients who know a prostitute is being forced, and yet still use their services (article here).
This seems to be the first step towards the feared Nordic model (read more about that here), which criminalizes all clients, and not just those who use the services of a prostitute that is forced. It's also no wonder that the initiative for this plan comes from the Christian parliament member of the ChristenUnie, Gert-Jan Segers, who openly admits that he is against prostitution.
According to Gert-Jan Segers clients can know that prostitutes are forced, which is funny, since the last campaign against human trafficking from the Dutch government just proved that clients (who the campaign was targeted at), have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Only 7% of their reports to the police actually turned out to be about something criminal, of which by the way only 57% of those 7% where actually about human trafficking related cases (read here). In short, only in about 4% of the cases when clients 'think' they're seeing human trafficking, it actually turns out to be really the case, and in more then 93% of the cases this turns out to be not the case.

But the real question is of course, are there any clients at all that visit prostitutes who are being forced, knowing that they're forced and still use their services, or is this just an idea politicians have from their clouded minds? Do we have any statistics about how many clients knowingly visited a prostitute who was forced, and still continued to pay for her services? No!We have no data at all about that, or if that's even happening at all!
I strongly doubt at all, that a client would still continue using the services of a forced prostitute if they knew she was being forced. I doubt this for the very simple reason that many of my clients ask me about this, an not just me but most of the girls, if I'm forced, and they're very worried about this. The general idea that apparently a lot of politicians have, that clients don't care if a prostitute is being forced or not, is completely wrong and very, very, very far away from the truth!
In fact, clients are one of the few people in this world, that actually care about prostitutes. Not the rescue industry, who's more interested in financial profit than actually caring about prostitutes, not the politicians who have their own political agenda, not the police who only want to hear from prostitutes that they are forced even if they're not, nobody but clients and a few smart people that have figured out the truth for themselves, actually care about us.
So what problem are we fighting here exactly? The problem of clients who visit a forced prostitute (which is a pretty small chance to begin with), and knows she's forced (which is almost impossible for a client to know), and still continues to use her services (which I strongly doubt since that's a huge turn off for almost every client). Does this problem even exist? And if so, how 'big' is this problem?
Shouldn't we first figure out if this problem is really there, before we start fighting a problem that maybe even doesn't exist, or happens on an extremely small scale? Especially since all of the side-effects this law may have, which could cause more problems than it solves. How can you fight a 'problem' of which you don't even know if it exists at all?

The idea of course is to 'fight human trafficking'. But in what way does this plan contribute into fighting human trafficking? All it does is that it criminalizes a (maybe even non-existent) part of the clients, and it doesn't save any victims, nor does it catch the pimps that do this. In fact, it will only scare clients to visit a prostitute, scared of meeting a prostitute and finding out she's forced, with as a result that if they don't report it they can go to jail. Clients don't want to go to jail, they don't want any trouble at all, it's one of the main reasons they go to visit a prostitute, because they don't want trouble and that's exactly what a prostitute offers, her time with a client without any trouble or complaining about it, in exchange for money.
Clients don't want to become a police man, they don't want to have to check every time they go to a prostitute, to find out if she's forced or not. We have the police for this already, who have been professionally trained for this. And how come that a client should be able to know if a girl is forced or not, if not even the police can find these women? Why do politicians expect the clients to become a part-policeman because our own police can't do their own jobs good?
Or is it perhaps the case that the police can't find these supposedly thousands of girls that are being forced, because there are just not that many forced girls as some people claim? Are politicians perhaps trying to find something that rarely exists, and when they can't find it they demand harder and harder policies in order to find those things that are rare to be found? After all, it's Gert-Jan Segers who keeps yelling in the media that 50 to 90% of the prostitutes are forced, even though we already know that this claim is completely false (read here). This is also been proven time after time when the police does raids and can hardly find any of these women they claim are forced.

But I get more the idea that this is exactly the intention Gert-Jan Segers has with the initiative. Not to really help those victims or fight human trafficking, but more to scare clients away from prostitutes, in an attempt to reduce prostitution by itself, which just happens to be his personal goal. What do you know, what a coincidence!
And what would the result be for those victims, who these politicians are supposedly trying to help with this new initiative? Would this free them for their brutal pimp? No, since they'll just scare away clients, all it will achieve is that those forced girls will get less clients, to which their pimp will demand from them they work harder for their cash, with as a result that they'll be more in trouble then they where before because they don't bring in enough money. In short, this law would just make the life of those forced prostitutes more of a living hell then it was before.
And what about the side effect of this initiative law? The majority of the prostitutes, who are not victims of trafficking, will just get less clients, since they're too scared to visit a prostitute and go to jail. With as a result that we, the majority, become a victim of a law that's intended to save victims, which it doesn't achieve.

Why don't those politicians start fighting the real problem of human trafficking? The pimps, and not the clients or the prostitutes! Why don't they increase the punishment for pimps who force or exploit prostitutes to such a huge punishment, that those guys will think twice before doing it all. Make the punishments so hard, that nobody would even dare to try it! Give them jail for life, in such a shitty jail they'd rather die then stay there for the rest of their lives.
Right now the jail time in Holland for crime, not just human trafficking but almost every crime, is so low that it doesn't scare anyone. And the conditions in jail are so good, it's almost more like a hotel then an actual jail. Jail isn't supposed to be 'fun', having a PC, TV, game computer etc. Whoever thought of this in a jail must have been deeply stupid! Jail is supposed to be hell on earth, not just to punish people, but also to scare people so much with the prospect of going there, that they'll never even want to try it.
But these days the jail is considered to be 'fun', some criminals actually intentionally want to go to jail, as a break away from their 'work' for some time, without having to pay for the food or the shelter they get in jail.

And even if this law makes it through the parliament. How the hell are you going to prove that someone 'knew' a prostitute was being forced? Are they going to hire mind readers to see if the person knew this already or not? In terms of evidence, this law is already doomed to fail. It's impossible to prove if someone knew something already or not, which just causes longer trials, more court cases, leaving judges in Holland less time to judge on actual crimes than these.
And who's going to judge if someone 'knew' a prostitute was being forced? Nobody can say about someone else what he or she knows or doesn't know. So the only result this will have, is that innocent people will go to jail because they didn't know a prostitute was forced, yet someone else decides for them that they 'did know'. How can that ever be called justice?

I don't know what these politicians are thinking. Well, except for Gert-Jan Segers, who isn't too smart at hiding his real goal, which is to reduce prostitution in stead of human trafficking, and is poorly disguising as 'saving victims'. What I'm really surprised about however, is how dumb the other politicians are in not being able to see this. It's so obvious, and yet they're so blind. I guess they would be like one of those clients who visit a forced prostitute, and says afterwards they didn't know. How can you not see this if it's so clear, dear politicians?

Update 13/07/2014 14:00
Just read from Nine Kooiman from the SP who's one of the politicians working on this plan, that this would for instance only apply to girls working in shady conditions, like a garage or something like this. But since that would by default fall under illegal prostitution (which is illegal already), then why don't they specify in that new plan of theirs that this law only applies to clients who visit illegal prostitutes, and leave the professional legal working prostitutes alone with this stupid rule?

Dutch version
7 Responses
  1. Kevin Finch Says:

    That's very frustrating. Wish I could get more signatures on my petition but it's been slow.


  2. Leo Myshkin Says:

    Felicia Anna, have you ever watched a film called "Liliya 4-ever" ? It's a swedish film which i call propaganda of the Swedish model against prostitution. It's not a coincidence that it was produced 3 years (2002) after the implementation of this model. It shows a 16 years old girl who lives somewhere in ex Soviet Union, in a very very poor area and with no parents. She falls in love with a man who is revealed to be a trafficker and sends her to Sweden, where another man takes her from the airport, rapes her and forces her to become a prostitute. The film also shows a number of clients who rape Lilya.
    This film has many symbols: the young age of the woman leaves subconsciously in mind the impression that a prostitute (or maybe a woman) is always naive and unprotected (this is called infantilization) . The lover of a prostitute cannot love her really, but he is a ruthless person who takes advantage of her naivety. And of course a cruel pimp could not miss from the story. But the main target of the film are the clients. The quantity of them in the film is so big that the intention of the film cannot be misunderstood: All of them, with no exception, are beasts, who never ask the girl not even a single question about who she is, where did she come from: there is no human communication between Lilya and the clients. They only thing they want is to rape her, like beasts as i said. If the Swedish model was so honest then all these lies would be unnecessary. But it seems that it's not.
    I don't agree with your penal proposals. The penal system and the prisons were never in human history solution of the problem of criminality, but part of the problem. They only manage to reproduce crime and never to extinguish it. But this is another discussion. Thank you and good night.


  3. Felicia Anna Says:

    @Leo Myshkin
    Why watch a movie if you're living in the real thing?

    But beyond that, no I haven't seen this movie. I did see the movie Sex Traffick, which was utterly boring and inaccurate, with one exception, that the bad guys are always high placed influential people, at least they got that right.
    And the TV series Matroesjka's, which is a good show if you're talking about places where prostitution is illegal, but becomes completely unrealistic when you're talking about Holland for example.


  4. In the UK they can prosecute clients where the client is unaware the sexeorker is coerced. There have been very few prosecutions.


  5. Anonymous Says:

    Of course most people working in the prostitution are forced, by unfortunate circumstances. What do you do in a country were there is no work for you and hardly any social security. You have to live of something, in many cases there are children to be fed. Young people don’t want a life in poverty. How can you see the difference between forced by financial need or by bad people ? When the bills are piling up, the rent has to be paid and the children must go to school. The competition is great, the rent of the workplace is high and these are difficult times. Sad faces, complaints of heavy work can have many reasons. When the clients don’t come, the work is too heavy there is still no money and now you have a past that you have been there. The policy of this country makes working in the prostitution more and more difficult. No wonder that many choose for the more risky illegal prostitution. Sign of human trafficking ? Moreover because there is left little other way.


  6. Anonymous Says:

    Yay! They finally asked YOU something! Instead of people who have ZERO first hand experience (pardon the pun ;). Congratulations on the interview and keep up the GREAT work! Love your blog!


  7. Cliente X Says:

    Hmmm. I see that u are making again the same error as I have seen in other posts. "Trafficked" and "forced" are not synonims. I think that the british model (the one in discussion) is about trafficked prostitutes and that's pretty easy to detect once u know what's about. Any immigrant prostitute is victim of trafficking, no matter if she came legal or illegally, voluntary or forced. U, a romanian working in Holland, are an example. This definition criminalices immigration. It's racist, of course, as politicians that made it.

    U say that Seger's idea is weird, that u haven't noticed a single case of forced prostituion and that -in fact- "clients are one of the few people in this world that actually care about prostitutes". He is not stupid. He knows the way to cover his moral crusade against prostitution is to use a speech with arguments against traffiking. He can't confess that he wants to harm prostitutes, he must say that he wants to help them. As a politician, is work is to lie and create problems.

    When u began this blog u said that u wanted to tell the truth about prostitution. Well, then it's bcause there are other ppl telling lies, right? Come on, say with me, Seger is a liar. And when anyone lies, u can't convince him. He doesn't want to fight a problem but to build a justification against prostitution. It's cinism. It's politic.

    Worse of lies, are the half trues. In fact, it's true that many prostitutes are forced. But not forced to "sell her body", they're forced to pay to be allowed to work. What are u doing, Felicia? Do u work in a "legal" way, right? U pay taxes. So u pay the salary of politicians like Segers, don't u? We can say that he ir ur pimp, as he lives from ur earnings.

    If I were in Holland I'd be only with the "illegal" prostitutes to not to pay the salary of ppl like Segers.


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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.