COVID ruined Red Light district economy

Avoid each other’s ‘moist breathing zone’, shower after each appointment and only meet one-on-one or with a couple who live together. These are some measures that sex workers must take on top of the usual rules to be able to work safely. At least, that is the opinion of the industry associations that represent the interests of sex workers, club owners and other involved parties.

“We want to open soon,” is André van Dorst, the chairman of the Relaxation Operators Association (VER). He spoke on Friday in The Hague during a press conference with industry associations PROUD, SOR and knowledge platform SekswerkExpertise. “It is exceptional that we do this together. We are aligned with all organizations. The ministry is currently working on the protocol, and local health ministry is conducting research. The goal is that we can get started, with the emphasis on safety. ”

In total, an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people work in the industry, including in prostitution but also in sex clubs. They are now unemployed at home: brothels closed on March 15 and prostitution is also prohibited during the corona crisis. This also applied to other people who practice contact professions, such as masseurs. However, the restriction for that has now largely been lifted. However, prostitution and sex work remain prohibited.

Moreover, sex work in the neighboring countries is now allowed again, or is being considered. In the border regions in particular, those concerned fear that customers will cross the border to get their convenience. “We speak to sex workers who have to tell their children to eat bread again tonight, because no money is coming in,” said Proud chairman Miriam. A study by SekswerkExpertise shows that many sex workers do not dare or can claim government support.

Illegality is also a concern, according to the industry. Many prostitutes are forced to continue working to provide for themselves. That is not allowed, but there is still a hefty offer via the internet. Customers are often received at home or in a remote location.

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