Amsterdam’s sex workers speak out against the relocation of the red-light district

Sex workers are fearing the worst after Amsterdam’s council agreed to move the red-light district to an eerie “erotic centre” in the suburbs.

Last week, councillors agreed to close down Amsterdam‘s red-light district windows, with the new location in the suburbs yet to be determined.

The proposal, which was put forward by the city’s mayor Femke Halsema, is supposedly a “tourism reset” to attract a different personality of holiday-goers.

red light district
Brothel windows. Photo: Anoek De Groot

Dennis Boutkan, a member of the Dutch Labour Party, said: “Tourists are welcome to enjoy the beauty and freedom of the city, but not at any cost.”

However, the plan to move the city’s sex workers will indeed have a detrimental impact. Felicia Anna, Red Light United’s chairwoman, informed Dazed of the negative effects the proposal will have.

“This will lead to sex workers choosing to work illegally underground, rather than in his new erotic centre nobody asked for, and will therefore make them more vulnerable to violence and human trafficking,” Anna said.

She also told Dazed how there would be a “disastrous impact on our work and income, since most sex workers don’t want to move there”.

According to The Guardian, the ‘reset’ could include a potential ban on buying cannabis at the popular 420 cafes, raising alarm bells that trade could be handed over to dealers on the streetsHowever, the anti-cannabis proposal is struggling to win support due to these fears.