The Red Thread lately released a report (the Read Thread is a labour union for prostitutes in the Netherlands). The results are very depressing. They have done extensive fieldwork in Dutch brothels. The situation is bad. I previously thought that the situation in the brothels themselves was basically okay, except that the operators turned a blind eye to pimps and human traffickers. Now I believe that the sex operators are an even bigger threat than the human traffickers!!!! Well, my conclusion must be that it would be better for clients if at least they don't make use of organized prostitution (if it's true that the right to sexual self determination is violated in most of these brothels). Now only the prostitutes remain who work in their own apartments (also the independent escorts).
There's no English version, so I' ll translate a bit...
This is the Dutch source of the report:
Rechten van prostituees ..... (Sietske Altink and Sylvia Bokelman, October 2006)
Rights of prostitutes .....
A report of the observations of the Red Thread (Rode Draad) in the Dutch field of prostitution over five years after the lifting of the general ban on brothels, and a plea for a general law for prostitution (prostitution-law)
The Red Thread Foundation
Sietske Altink and Sylvia Bokelman
Amsterdam, October 2006
Summary and conclusions
Summary of the observations
Reviewing the whole of our observations on the shop floor of the sex-industry and through the helpdesk of the Red Thread we conclude these as follows.
- The number of licensed sex-businesses has declined drastically.
- There has been a marked increase of Thai parlours. (one sixth of the currently operational sex businesses are Thai.)
- The number of clients has declined; one client a day is no exception. The earnings are therefore, especially in the remote areas, very bad.
- Clients seem to have a preference for massage parlours and saunas and ignore the classic brothels with the floor covering against the ceiling, the red lights and the Frans Bauer-music [Frans Bauer is a Dutch Schlager-artist]. In other words, there’s a lack of innovation.
- The introduction of paid employment meets heavy resistance on the part of the operators. Prostitutes don’t know the benefits of paid employment.
- The labour relations, the working conditions and the terms of employment have still not been regulated. As far as paid-employment-contracts occur in the sex-industry, they mostly resemble strangle-contracts.
- The rules of independent entrepreneurship are violated. Operators still make use of deceptive constructions consisting of - for instance - shared-ownership and corporations.
- The authority of the operator is present everywhere. Most of the time the independent entrepreneurs are not allowed to decide for themselves to speak with us or not.
- The lack of available licences on a municipal level deprives prostitutes of the possibility to start for themselves.
- We still encounter businesses where we observe gross abuses.
- There are some small improvements which can be observed: extremely long working days are no longer thought to be normal.
- Still too many women, especially Eastern European women live on the workplace. That makes them completely dependent on the operator, especially in the remote areas. We don’t understand how you can be an independent contractor and you choose your domicile and your business-address at your operator. The municipalities accept this. We observed that in one bar eight massage parlours were established.
- Eastern European women are only independent entrepreneurs on paper. They factually work in paid employment, what is not allowed by law. The obvious conclusions are not being drawn. By the way, every municipality has his own idea of what is a ‘independent entrepreneur’.
- The extension of the human trafficking section to slavery like conditions in other professions has led to a better definition of the ‘exploitative situation’. The signals of slavery like conditions, like ‘forced to live on the workplace’, ‘being dependent on the operator’, ‘extremely long working hours’ and ‘poor payment’ can therefore often be applied to the prostitution-business.
Look here for part 2:
Red Thread report