Monday, May 21, 2007

Surprise - part 3.....


(translated from Dutch, AD, Saturday, May 19th, 2007)

‘A man Works for me’By Leo van der Velde and Coen van Kranenburg
THE HAGUE – the window prostitution in de Geleenstraat and de Doubletstraat is not amused. To express it properly.

According to all those involved these streets are wrongly involved in the ‘rock-hard’ fact that nationwide three quarters of the prostitutes are exploited and many are victims of human trafficking. That high percentage is named in publications by Hague vice inspectors as well as their colleagues at the Nationale Recherche [criminal investigation department].

“We always first go with the ladies, who want to hire a window at us, to the police. They are then interrogated if they are forced,” say owners of the three window rental companies Termsma, Joyce and Peet, who have the largest segment of the prostitution premises in their possession. “The ladies have ample opportunity to separately make a statement. It is better to ask the ladies themselves. Or don’t they have a voice?”

Ruby (35), a Dominican who works in one of the passages on number 2, smiles gaily. “I work for nobody. Yes, for my children.” The Spanish prostitute Antonia (35) on number 8 and her colleague Estella (number 4) say practically the same. Clarissa (number 15) – little nurse dress on a hanger – as well. The same is true for the 25 year old Ingrid and – a window further – the six Spanish-speaking ladies, big and small, fat and thin, on number 40. Roars with laughter come up if we let the interpreter ask if they work for a chulo (Spanish for pimp). Edith, Rosa, Norma, Rina and Carmen put up their middle finger. Edith clenches her fist. “You police talk with all of us. We work for our families. To work forced by a man? Tsss, a man works for me.”

Same reactions on de Geleenstraat. Asha on number 2 and – a door further – Unai shake their heads. Marja, who manages several windows for window proprietors, says that one carefully watches if the female renters appear on the workplace with slammed-shut eyes or bruises. Also Ka, a pretty Chinese, says to know nothing.

Finally on number 130 Anastasia and Domenique sit behind a window. No, say the ladies, we don’t work for a bloke.

Not only the reports that maltreatment and exploitation are everyday practices also in The Hague have created bad blood. Also the statements of the national vice inspectors that prostitutes suffer big blows when they don’t earn thousands of euros per week, are referred to the land of fables.

An anonymous source from the prostitution industry does acknowledge that there is forced labour. Mainly girls of Dutch and Bulgarian descent are thought to be involved, who have become the victims of loverboys. This source estimates that between five and fifteen percent are involved. “But even if it was only a percentage, that’s still too many.”

Spokesperson Wim Hoonhout of the police also speaks of worrying circumstances. “We perceive a grave situation, where a large segment of the prostitutes in the region are victims of human trafficking.”



Zoltan said...

Well, if you just go to Doubletstraat you easily can observe pimps. Latin American and black guys make their "patrols" to see if everything is all right with the girl. It's childish to think that the mafia is not involved.

Donkey said...

Never been there. You say that these Latin American women are actually guarded by these men?