The lies of politicians about the Red Light District
About 4 years ago I started this blog to fight all the misinformation and lies spread around in the media by politicians and opinion makers about prostitution, human trafficking and the Red Light District of Amsterdam. Working there myself behind the windows, and seeing all these people talking such incredible bullshit on TV, in newspaper or in other media, just makes me feel sick in my stomach. Especially because the most often claim being heard is that 'those Eastern European women are the victims', because they can't believe someone from East Europe would come all the way here just to do this work as a job, and not be a victim.

In the past 4 years I tried explaining people the truth. I've been working here now for 8 years, and the stories about the Red Light District being some kind of hub for human trafficking are just pure bullshit. Yes, human trafficking can happen, and sometimes does happen. But anyone claiming there are 'hundreds of women' victims here, or being raped, or that's it's more than 50% or all these statistics are just lying their asses of for their own hidden agenda.

Yesterday was another good example. There was a political debate on TV and also an article was published today with the leader of the Dutch christian political party CDA, Sybrand Buma, where he claimed that more than half the women are forced behind the windows. He even claimed that "if you'd ask those women, they'd say they choose this voluntarily, but it isn't the case". In short, he tries to silence our voice, and speaks for us, proclaiming that no matter what we say, people cannot trust our word. And this is coming from a politician, can you believe it? This also begs the question how someone could ever find out that someone is forced if you can never trust a sex worker on what they say? Wouldn't what work both ways?

He continued his argument by stating that 60% of the women come from East Europe, and stated that "they didn't come here with with a train ticket, but are often lured into this under false pretenses, picked out of the gutter in Budapest." Like I said, the claim is often about girls like us from East Europe, which is weird if you think about it, because we have more reason to do this job, considering our counties economic position, than women from The Netherlands for example, so this reasoning makes no sense. And it's also funny to see how poorly informed Buma is, considering the fact that he mentions Budapest as an example. There aren't so many Hungarian girls working in the Red Light District, let alone from Budapest. But whatever.

This is a perfectly good example of a lie. Buma is lying because as a christian he opposes the idea of prostitution, and would rather have it forbidden. His concerns aren't really about human trafficking and forced prostitution, he just abuses terms such as modern slavery for his own political agenda. Yes, I know, what a shocker, a politician telling a lie for a political agenda, who would've thought that, right?

Now of course it's no surprise that a politician with a christian background lies about something to achieve something from being banned which conflicts with his own christian morals. Christians have been doing the exact same things on topics such as homosexuality and abortion. Christians in the US for example claimed for years (and perhaps even today), that homosexuality is a decease. Or that homosexuality is the cause of AIDS. They say these kind of things, because everyone is against deceases and AIDS, so by using it as an argument, they hope to convince people into supporting their cause.

The reason Buma doesn't make such claims about homosexuality, is because it's much too accepted in the Dutch society. It would rather damage his political career, and cost him voters than gaining any. But prostitution is still a debate that's not been decided yet, plus the fact that unlike gay people, sex workers hardly speak out for themselves because they want to protect their privacy. And even if we would speak out, his argument is that we would be lying anyway, so nothing we say could be trusted. So it's kind of like shooting sitting ducks, it's very easy to do, and because there are no hard facts and little publicly known about the reality of prostitution, it's easy to get away with it.

Good thing though that a while ago the Dutch Rapporteur on Human Trafficking published this rapport on the relation between human trafficking and prostitution. In this rapport it also specifies how many suspicions there where from for example the police, city officials and any officials that are part of fighting human trafficking or have any dealings with this. And guess what? They specified how may suspicions of human trafficking they had by region and per prostitution form. So, now we can look up how many possible victims there really are according to the people that report this to the government.

In the rapport "Prostitution and Human Trafficking" on page 177, it is specified that in Amsterdam over a 5 year period from 2011 until 2015, there where 2 possible victims in window prostitution. Not hundreds, not thousands like some video from Stop The Traffik claims, not even dozens. No, just 2. In 5 years! That means one victim every 2,5 year. Not 400 women a day, like the previous mayor claimed, not hundreds of woman a day, not even hundreds of women a month or even a year.

Now I know that people will start claiming that the police doesn't see everything. But then again they don't have to see anything to report it, all they need is a gut feeling, no evidence is required and even than we only come down to 2 possible victims. And trust me, they check things out. Official statistics from the city of Amsterdam show that they do around 1900 checks a year on window prostitution alone in Amsterdam. To put that in perspective, we have 290 windows in the Red Light District.

So 2 possible victims, that's not 50%, heck, that's not even 10%. We have here on a daily base around 400 sex workers working here, so this is more like 0,10%. Not even one percent, but a tenth of that. And yes, around 60% of us are from East Europe. But just because we come from there, doesn't mean we didn't choose to do this job ourselves. It's a pure lie claiming that most of us where brought here under false pretenses. In fact, I've never met a single girl in the Red Light District who didn't know what she was coming here for. Even victims, and I know some victims, even they knew what they came to do here, and they had no objections to it.

Because in the end, even for most victims, the problem isn't the job. Very few girls do this job involuntarily, despite the fact that human trafficking sometimes happens. Not as much as people often claim, as you can see, but it does happen sometimes. But abolishing prostitution isn't the solution to human trafficking. After all, if it was, then how come they never propose abolishing other professions where human trafficking exist, if it's such a good solution?

No, Sybrand Buma is a liar, just like Gert-Jan Segers, Lodewijk Asscher and many, many other politicians and opinion makers often claiming to 'want to do something against human trafficking'. It's not about human trafficking, they don't care about fighting that, it's a scam. They're just using it for their own political agenda. Just look through my blog, there's about 4 years worth of articles with sources. And it's not about denying human trafficking, I don't deny that human trafficking exists. In fact, I wrote plenty of artciles about how human trafficking works in reality, and even how human trafficking in prostitution could really be reduced. But also articles about the reality of working behind the windows in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, which is vastly different from how Buma claims it is. And I should know it, because I work there, and not him or any of the other politicians claiming bullshit about us.
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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.