Amsterdam: Window Shopping for Sex Blackout

Those who frequent in Amsterdam are very much familiar with the city’s infamous Red Light District. A lot of sex shops, brothels and prostitutes featured in red-lit windows can be traced here. But due to the city council’s Project 1012, sex workers and brothel owners are starting to lose their jobs and source of income.

First proposed in 2007, Project 1012 intends to deter crime and corruption in Amsterdam by minimizing the number of establishments or businesses that is opportune to crime. In addition, prostitution will only be allowed in two areas. Because of this “clean up”, several protesters and sympathizers have expressed dismay and have taken the streets and held demonstrations with outcries of “Don’t save us, save our windows” and “Stop closing our windows.”

 What’s in it for Amsterdam?

The Guardian reported that ever since Project 1012 went under way, 126 windows where sex workers wearing skimpy outfits are preening to attract customers have been shut down. Some owners of whorehouses were even said to be ‘coerced’ into selling their leaseholds so that the government can build luxury boutiques, upscale coffee shops and restaurants, and art projects in the area. Moreover, these measures are part of the city council’s plan to revive the Amsterdam’s historic network of canal-side streets. By scaling down the number of window bawdy houses in some high roads in the city center, residents and travelers will be able to use them freely. More so, it is said that illegal activities, which some owners are associated with, will be discontinued when brothels in the district are closed down.

 Effect to the Sex Industry

 It is suspected that much part of the Red Light District is reign over by organised crime syndicates. That’s why Project 1012 was brought about to put to stop the alleged human trafficking in the district. However, the people who were supposed to benefit from this are the same people who were hit hard by this plan. By shutting down these windows, looking for work has become more difficult for the sex workers. As a matter of fact, some prostitutes have been toiling on the streets since brothels that are still open for business are now overcrowded with harlots, gigolos and some transsexual sex workers.