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Minister Gives €12m to Prostitutes

In an act of supreme generosity, Justice minister Ivo Opstelten will give twelve million euros to prostitutes over the next four years. That works out at €8,219 per day which, even at Amsterdam Red Light District prices, is a lot.

The money will be used to encourage prostitutes to leave the sex industry and is part of the government’s overall strategy to attack the industry from several different angles.

As has been demonstrated most concretely here in Amsterdam, where both property acquisition and prosecutions against individual property owners have been used to render the world famous Red Light District almost unrecognisable, the plan is to slowly chip away at both the visibility and acceptability of prostitution within Dutch culture until it can be pushed underground and hypocritically ignored, as happens in most other countries.

While no-one could object to the idea of giving money to sex workers who wish to have a fresh start, it is worth noting that this €3m per year is merely the “carrot” in their “carrot and stick” approach. One strikingly aggressive stick currently being proposed is that the clients of prostitutes should be prosecuted, as sex traffickers, with the full force of the law if it is later alleged that the sex worker was a victim of trafficking.

Obviously, even the vague risk of being caught up in such a mess is likely to frighten a lot of men away from prostitution, substantially reducing the number of clients available, so, the chances are that minister Opstelten will find plenty of sex workers eager to take his money.

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