Dutch government's 'pimp ban' is dangerous
For a while now The Netherlands has a new government, a coalition between right winged liberal party VVD, D66 and Christians from CDA and ChristenUnie. And apparently while negotiating about the new Dutch policies, the Christians where able to trade out their opinion in exchange for other things. Thus this new Dutch government came up with a plan for a 'pimp ban'.

Now a pimp ban might sound like a good idea, but the name is deceiving. Because in reality this pimp ban aims to criminalize anyone that aids and financially benefits from illegal working prostitutes. And just to clarify, illegal working prostitutes are not victims of trafficking, but simply sex workers that don't have a license to do sex work. Those licences are also almost impossible to obtain, since cities in recent years have basically only reduced the number of licenses, in an attempt to clean their cities of prostitution, with the excuse of fighting human trafficking.

The best example of this is in the Red Light District, where they closed down 128 windows. But also other cities have followed Amsterdam's example. In total 800 windows have closed down alone, leaving now 1200 windows in the Netherlands, in stead of the 2000 windows they had back in the year 2000. And in total there are now 46% less licensed prostitution businesses in The Netherlands since the brothel ban was lifted in 2000.

New licences are rarely ever given out, simply because cities don't want to. In short, even if you wanted to get a license to work legal as a sex worker, it's virtually impossible to get one. So a lot of sex workers are stuck working illegal, under the radar. Not because they are forced by a pimp, but because the government forced them, by reducing legal workplaces and not creating any new legal alternative workplaces for them.

Now you might think it's still a good idea to criminalize people that financially benefit from sex workers, because most people often think about pimps when they hear this. But this is exactly where this new upcoming law is so deceiving. Because this law doesn't aim at pimps, but anyone that benefits from sex workers without a license. So also for example the driver of an escort girl, the bookkeeper and the security guy. Literally anyone that financially benefits from a sex worker that works without a license.

To mislead the public opinion, the ChristenUnie party leader Gert-Jan Segers claimed that the pimp ban aims to criminalize human traffickers, and anyone that benefits from human trafficking. But this is simply not true. Nowhere in the entire proposed law it is mentioned that this law would only apply in cases of human trafficking, but in stead criminalizes anyone that aids and financially benefits from sex workers that work without a license.

Some people have said that Gert-Jan Segers is not well enough informed about the new law to realize the negative effects of his laws, but the reality is completely the opposite of this. In fact, he designed this law, so he knows very well what he did, and he intentionally designed it this way, so he could mislead people into believing it was about fighting human trafficking, while in reality it serves a different goal: to fight prostitution any way he can. You see, in the end Gert-Jan Segers his goal is not to fight human trafficking, but to try and ban prostitution anyway he can, and this law is designed to do exactly that. So he knows very well what he's doing, and Segers is extremely well informed about the prostitution industry and how things work, for example by Christians saviors Frits Rouvoet.

And to hive you an idea of what would happen if Gert-Jan Segers would succeed. If this 'pimp ban' gets implemented, it would mean that people who do business with sex workers working without a license don't want to do business with them, out of fear of being caught as a pimp. So bookkeepers, accountant, landlords, security people, drivers and chauffeurs would not do business anymore with these sex workers, making the life and work of these sex workers extremely difficult. Of course these sex workers would love to work legal, but since the cities don't allow them to get a license, their stuck working illegal. Obviously they won't stop working as a sex worker, since that would mean a loss of income, so they would continue working illegal, but can no longer do business with safe people, leaving only criminals to take advantage of that.

Indeed, this law would lead to more extortion of sex workers by criminals, which is also called human trafficking. So in stead of fighting human trafficking with this law, it would increase it. Obviously Segers knows this, but he simply doesn't care, as long as he gets his way because of his Christian morals. He wants to make the work of sex workers as difficult as possible, in an attempt to reduce prostitution as much as possible.

For me personally, this law doesn't affect me. I work legal, so for me this law is not a problem. But unfortunately not everyone can work legal, because of the problems of obtaining a license. So there are a lot of other sex workers out there in The Netherlands, who are in danger of only being able to do business in the future with criminals who want to try and exploit them. Obviously this is very bad, and the whole reason why this misleading pimp ban is such a bad idea, and proof of why people should never believe politicians like Gert-Jan Segers about topics like human trafficking and prostitution.

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.