Friday, October 30, 2009

The Past

Now some more old (translated) material.

From the archives of nrc:

IND: prostituees niet zelfstandig [IND: prostitutes not independent]
By one of our editors

Thursday October 15th 1998

Eight out of ten Eastern European prostitutes who work on de Wallen of Amsterdam, are the victim of women trafficking. That was put forward by two police officers yesterday before the court of Amsterdam during the handling of an appeal of six Eastern European prostitutes against the rejection of their residence permit by the Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst ([Immigration and Naturalization service] IND). These women want to settle themselves as an independent entrepreneur, but the IND doesn’t believe that they are truly independent. That’s why the IND refused a residence permit two times. According to investigator H. Florie of the Sfinx-team that investigated women trafficking on the Wallen of Amsterdam, most Eastern European prostitutes come with false documents to the Netherlands. “The girls are mostly lowly educated and naive and are an easy prey for women traffickers. They often have debts, because they have to pay back the traffickers for a false passport and the journey to the Netherlands”, so says Florie.

According to the policeman it is difficult to gather evidence against the women traffickers because many victims don’t dare to make a statement [to the police]. “Not only the women themselves are threatened, but also their family members abroad’, says Florie. Also his superior, chief commissioner T. Eeken, doubts if the women are truly working indendently. According to him they almost never have money, while they nevertheless earn five hundred to thousand guilders per day. Above all there are always ‘protectors’ in the neighbourhood according to Eeken. That’s why he assumes that the prostitutes have to hand over their earnings.
From the archives of the the Volkskrant:

Hoerenbeleid Amsterdam bevordert vrouwenhandel [Whore policy Amsterdam encourages women trafficking]
Unknown, Weert Schenk

Published on February 21th 1998

The judge has helped the ‘kastenbazen’ [window brothel owners] a hand. In July last years the court in The Hague decided that window prostitutes from countries with whom the European Union has an association treaty, like Poland, the Czech Republic and Slowakia, are allowed to work here. They get a residence permit if they can prove that they are independent entrepreneurs.

Since then the Wallen have been flooded with Eastern European women with a passport which is false or not. For insiders it is clear that they are not working independently. They can see that by the cars which each drop three to four women on the working address. In front of the houses almost constantly foreign men (Turks, Yugoslavs and Albanians) stand guard.

Field workers assume that the guards of the women are ‘errand boys’ of a criminal network. The women, they say, didn’t come to Amsterdam on their own accord, but are being put to work. According to the foundation The Red Thread, who look after the interests of prostitutes, the Eastern European women work for the ‘humiliatingly low’ rate of 35 guilders. That forces the Dutch women to work cheaper.

The suspicion that te women are being exploited, agrees closely with the results of a recent police investigation. Eastern European criminals yearly bring approximately two thousand prostitutes to the Netherlands. The women are being trafficking for sums between five hundred and ten thousand guilders.

Behind the many Nigerian and Ghanian women also a criminal organization is suspected. They own good Itialian and Greek documents, or false ones which are hardly distinguishable from real. An additional problem is that these women change their appearance daily with the help of wigs. The police can only determine the validity of the passport with great difficulty.
From the archives of nrc:

Groter aantal prostituees Oost-Europa [Bigger number of prostitutes Eastern Europe]
By one of our editors

Tuesday March 6th 2001

Amsterdam, March 6th. “The number of prostitutes on the tippelzone on the Theemsweg in Amsterdam has strongly risen during the last year. From the numbers it arises that especially the number of Eastern European women has increased.

Recently mayor Cohen stated that the tippelzone is “chock full”. Numbers from the Begeleidingscommissie Tippelzone [guidance commission tolerance zone] acknowledge this. The numbers are based on the numbers of visitors in the Huiskamer [Living Room], the reception centre for the prostitution. This rised from on average 65 to 78. The number of Eastern European women that evening rose from 6 in 1997 to 32 in the year 2000.

Eastern European women mostly work with a pimp and the suspicion is that many of them are the victim of women trafficking. “We actually know for certain that often you can speak of a strong pressure on these women. We also suspect that they are put to work throughout the whole of Europe”, so says Jaap Fransman, manager of HVO-Querido, the foundation who runs the Huiskamer.

South-American women, until now the majority on the tippelzone, mostly work independently. They are now being ‘pushed aside’ by Eastern European, and to a lesser extent, African women.
From the archives of nrc:

Bordelen worstelen met gedoogbeleid [Brothels are struggling with policy of tolerance]
By our editor Anneke Visser

Thursday November 7th 1996

Brothel owners on de Wallen in Amsterdam are struggling with the harsh treatment of their business by the municipality. They fear that illegal prostitutes are chased to the streets because of that.

(…)

The objection of the brothel owners that because of the conduct of Patijn the Illegal prostitutes are sent to the street, is warded off by the municipality with the argument that these women are now no less than the prisoners of the brothel owners being meant. “They must hand over their passports and are often unable to move freely”, so says a spokesperson. Badoux on his turn: “That is rude. The municipality is itself responsible for this practice. Sometimes the brothel owners withhold passports, because they are to suffer when the women can’t identify themselves.”

Friday, October 09, 2009

Blast from the past

I wanted to inform you people about my latest excavations in the archives of Dutch newspapers. This following article (of which parts are translated by me) is about prostitution in Dutch province of Limburg in the nineties. Unfortunately the articles doesn’t contain quotation marks, I had to add them to make it more readable. The article contains the usual stunning admissions. And also unfortunately, it contains nothing new. Notice though, that in the article Russian women reportedly work with forged Polish passports. Is that the country where all the many Polish prostitutes in the Netherlands come from?

From the archives of the Dutch newspaper nrc.

Pezen voor je leven; Vrouwenhandel neemt toe, vooral vanuit Oost-Europa [prostituting for your life; Women trafficking increases, especially from Eastern Europe]

Alfred van Cleef

June 17th, 1995
(...)

It often occurs that a foreign prostitute must hand over half or more of her income to a ‘boyfriend’ or protector. Otten [club owner of Lovers Lane, on the rijksweg in Mook]: [“]many club owners would rather have girls with a pimp. Because they work at least. I they don’t feel like it, they get a punch, that’s how it is.[“] He himself doesn’t want pimps over the floor. [“]You just know what kind of blokes they are, it emanates from their jaws. Say it yourself, how many decent pimps are there now? When my girls are under thumb of a pimp, she goes out. Indefinitely. Yet it is easy to always blame the blokes. Look, you have three categories of girls: clever, dumb and extremely dumb. Yet I lately had experienced that one of the girls finally had gotten rid of such a bloke. A week later she nevertheless goes back to him and he grabs that girly by the throat. That girl had to leave.[“]

(...)

For a long time prostitution is no longer concentrated in the big cities. In Northern Limburg alone there are 58 registered brothels, against 63 in Amsterdam, so says project leader J.H. Hermans of the team Onderzoek Mensenhandel [Investigation Human Trafficking] of the regional police Limburg-Noord. [“]And then I don’t even talk about escort services, window prostitutes, housewives, street prostitutes and gays.” Hermans’ team performs aimed raids in brothels in Limburg of which there is a suspicion that women trafficking is at issue there. What he encounters during those raids he calls extremely alarming. [“]I dare to assert that seventy percent of the prostitutes in Northern Limburg are victims of women trafficking. Girls who have been put into the trunk while being drugged, minors Russian women with forged Polish passports.[“]

In many clubs the prostitutes are totally isolated according to Hermans. [“?”]They live there internally: sometimes with twenty women in one building with only six rooms, where they also must receive their clients. They only speak a Lithuanian dialect or Slovakian, are never allowed to go outside, are being relocated continuously and must work permanently, during menstruation or not. During illness they are simply dumped, beat it. They are treated like cattle, as utensils. The majority are with gigantic debts. The payment of their so-called visa and the transport. I have only one word for this: slavery.[“]

(...)

Roughly twenty women made a report of women trafficking in the case against the Dutchman H.B., who in the meantime is in a Czech cell. ‘The case H.B.’ is jewel of the stable of Hermans and his team. H.B., former owner of sex club Paradiso in Haelen in Limburg, is suspected of recruiting many dozens of women from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, with as destination brothels in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Between nose and lips Hermans slips the words that H.B. was vice-chairman of the Vereniging van Exploitanten van Relaxhuizen. Chairman Klein Beekman: [“]No vice-chairman, but committee member. That’s right. Now he has been expelled. H.B. was also an ex-cop[“], Klein Beekman strikes the ball back. Which is confirmed [that H.B. was a cop] by the regional police Limburg-Noord. [”]But that was a long time ago[“], says the spokesperson.