Subject: Re: [Stop-traffic] Request: Dutch legislation on prostitution and trafficking in humanbeings.
From: Altink s.m. (email@example.com )
Date: Wed Oct 18 2000 - 16:03:07 EDT
1) when were brothels legalised in nl? (in bindman/doezema, redefining
prostitution, 1997, i read about relevant legal amendments in 1996, on
the stop trafficking list i currently read about a new law entering into
force on 1 october 2000 legalising prostitution and brothels. this
confuses me a bit.)
The first discussion on legalization dates from 1974. But there has always
been new proposals. In 96 Amsterdam started to make a license system in
anticipation of the legalization. But it still had to go through
parliament. Last year in October it passed through the senate. And it took
until last october to come into force. (To give local governments some time
to prepare themselves)
2)what about possibilities of migrant women to work as prostitutes in
nl? in "dutch to bar non-european prostitutes" (stop trafficking,
december 1999) the author wrote about a new law (or only a proposal?)
that would prohibit sex-work by non-european citizens, but according to
other sources, this was not legal before, either (bindman/doezema;
marijan wijers, stop trafficking, november 1999). so what is the legal
situation is like now and when has it been amended?
Prostitutes from outside the European Union were in most parts of the
country tolerated. In some cases they even got a stamp in their passport by
the police, saying they could work for three months. However, this was not
In view of legalization, it is forbidden to employ undocumented people, as
it is in any profession. Only when there is a clear shortage of people in
a certain profession, employers can apply for a working permit for people
outside the European Union. But: there is a snag here: they make an
exception for prostitution. That means that in the current state of
legalization, sexworkers from outside the EU can NEVER EVER apply for a
I personally think that it is an unwarranted exception for prostitutes.
Sexworkers should be able to apply for a working permit under the same
conditions and under the same circumstances as migrants for other
professions. It is still open to debate. The ministry of justice has ruled
that this exception will remain in force for the time being.
But still it is difficult to prove there is a shortage of sexworkers. You
won't find them in the files of labour agencies. Besides the low prices in
prostitution and the bad payment indicates there is no shortage at all. Of
course there is a shortage of documented sexworkers that are willing to
work under the same circumstances undocumented people have to work under.
The new law may change this: brothel operators have to comply to labour
regulation: that means they have to pay social security and will very soon
have to negatiotate with the labour unions. The biggest regular Union has
already said they will take on organizations of prostitutes as their
3) concerning the legislation on trafficking: when was the temporary
residence permit introduced? have there been some recent legal
amendments or is the information that we have (3 months time to think
over legal proceedings against the trafficker, then residence permit
during criminal procedure, afterwards possibility to obtain permanent
residence permit) still valid? is there also a possibility of social
insurance or access to the labour market ?
As far as I know, temporary residence permit was introduced in 1987.
Not so recent amendments: also a temporary residence permit for witnesses:
1992. And the three months, something about that time. I am not sure,
Marjan Wijers is the legal expert on that.
And no, these trafficked women have no access to the labour market, but
they are entitled to social security and health care.
thank you very much in advance & best regards
Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Menschenrechte (BIM)
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights
Hessgasse 1, A-1010 Wien
tel +43-1-4277-27438, fax -27430
bim on the web: http://www.univie.ac.at/bim
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