Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema wants to issue sex worker permits for locations outside the red-light district, according to the Guardian. This offering may encourage women working in De Wallen to leave the area for more secure locations. The mayor will launch an initiative to change the streets next year. This comes after a number of failed attempts to improve the red-light district for the women working there.
Women who work in De Wallen often find themselves unable to make a living and subjected to abuse form tourists, according to members of Amsterdam’s city coalition. Councillor for the D66 party Alexander Hammelburg told Het Parool that the mayor’s initiative will help women “work in anonymity, freed from tourists who constantly take pictures.” “The De Wallen is simply no longer the ideal place,” he said.
Femke Roosma, the GroenLinks council member, said to “think of a kind of hotel with rooms, equipped with an alarm button, a safe for the money and cameras outside,” according to the Guardian. Echoing a similar sentiment, Socialist party councillor Nicole Temmink said the red-light district’s history should not act as a barrier for change. “The fact that prostitution is concentrated in the red-light district is not an argument to leave it that way,” she said, according to the Guardian.
Sex workers are increasingly finding work on the Internet, leaving the windows of the red-light district empty, councillor said, according to the Guardian. Mayor Halsema has already called for the city to close the area intermittently to clean up the streets. She is also calling for more police to work in the district and new powers to give on-the-spot fines to tourists.