Friday, December 25, 2009



A new law will come to the Netherlands which forces prostitutes to registrate and carry a personal card with registration number and photo along with them which is coupled to their personal data. They have to registrate at the government offices where an official has to determine if the prostitute is a victim of human trafficking or not. Also, clients are obliged to ask to see the personal card of a prostitute he visits or else he is punishable.

A couple of years ago exactly the same idea came to my mind to solve forced prostitution this way. Only, I now know more. It is very hard to determine if a prostitute is forced and Soa Aids Nederland explains that you cannot decide during one contact moment if a prostitute is forced and that a long relation of trust is needed to determine this. Soa Aids Nederland is afraid prostitutes will go underground to remain anonymous (why the eternal fear that prostitution will go underground???!!!!! Isn't a hotel the safest place?). And it can give clients a false sense of safety while victims of human trafficking get a card.

This situation proves to me once again that prostitution can never ever be regulated. Now after 5 years of reading a closet full of prostitution literature I am forced to draw a conclusion what is definitely the best law to deal with prostitution. While contemplating there are several approaches:

1. Prohibition: Bad because it punishes innocent people. For instance, voluntary prostitutes and unaware clients.
2. Decriminalization/Legalisation/A system where prostitution is recognized and some laws are implemented to protect the rights of sex workers: Doesn't work. It gives men a free hand to abuse any person as long as they pay money because now as consumers they are not responsible.
3. Abolitionism: Doesn't work. Innocent people are punished, like some of the harmless boyfriends, children, parents and other people who somehow live of the avails of prostitution while not harming any person.
4. Swedish model: No good idea. It punishes the clients who genuinely visit only voluntary prostitutes who are definitely voluntary.
So, no solution. I genuinely would like a system where prostitution is not illegal per se but where the government doesn't actively license brothels which gives clients a false sense of security. But that is not possible because if you don't prohibit prostitution you are doing just that.

Perhaps another idea: Don't prohibit prostitution per se but extend the laws protecting workers in general from sexual harassment. So: no unwanted sensual touching on the workplace by other workers or costumers. Nonononono, not good. Think about the women who make themselves available for money to medical students who try to practice gynaecology. Harmless. (now that I think about it, aren't these women sex workers too?)

While contemplating harder I think decriminilization is not a bad idea after all. Simply decriminalize prostitution and try to close every brothel where human trafficking takes place. Since we all know (like Metje Blaak of the Red Thread said) that 80% of the prostitutes are coerced by violent pimps and that all brothels allow in victims of human trafficking (like Frank Bovenkerk said), that means all brothels (and also escort agencies) will be closed down, leaving only a small group of independent prostitutes.

So the path for the government to take is:

Full decriminalization of prostitution: Which means formally recognizing prostitution as work with all the rights attached to that, for instance being free of sexual harassment on the workplace. And then close down all the brothels and escort agencies who exploit prostitutes who are coerced, which are basically all the brothels and escort agencies.

This is the final solution (btw not endlösung!!!!!!).

I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

BTW: I also forgot to mention that a couple of months ago two convicted human traffickers have escaped and a couple of some of the people of another Turkish Wallen-gang have also been convicted.

(And in this post I am actually very cynical but I mean every word I say.)

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