NEWS:Holland:Green light for brothels

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Subject: NEWS:Holland:Green light for brothels
From: Jyothi Kanics (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Date: Thu Feb 04 1999 - 10:13:38 EST


http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_270000/270814.stm

Tuesday, February 2, 1999 Published at 23:22 GMT

             World: Europe

             Green light for brothels

             Brothels in Holland are set to be legalised for the first
             time since 1912.

             The lower house of the Dutch parliament voted
             overwhelmingly to legalise the country's estimated 2,000
             brothels.

                           Until now prostitution has been legal
                           but brothels have only been 'tolerated'
                           - officially illegal but not prosecuted.

                           Prime Minister Wim Kok said the
                           move would bring social benefits,
                           make it harder for criminals to use
             sex clubs as a cover and make it harder for illegal
             immigrants seeking work.

             The opposition Christian Democrats and three small
             religious parties voted against the draft law.

             The bill now goes before the upper house, which is
             usually a formality, and is expected to become law next
             year.

             If the upper house does rubber stamp the vote then
             brothels will be treated exactly the same as any other
             business.

             They will also be required to meet safety requirements
             and register staff.

             Protecting minors

             According to the Dutch Government, lifting the ban on
             brothels will strip from the world's oldest profession the
             evils of drugs crime, trafficking in women and smuggling
             of firearms.

             The prison sentence for exploiting minors will be raised
             to six years from one.

             Brothel keepers welcomed official recognition of their
             business but were suspicious that the government would
             begin a drive against foreign workers.


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