Sex work has been legal in some form in the Netherlands since 1830, and was recognized as a legal profession in 1988.
Femke Halsema, Amsterdam's first female mayor, has presented four options aimed at protecting sex workers from degrading conditions, tackling crime, and reducing the impact of tourism in Amsterdam's De Wallen red-light district. Visitor numbers rised from 18 million in 2018 and is expected to be 42 million by 2030. "For many visitors, the sex workers have become no more than an attraction to look at. In some cases this is accompanied by disruptive behavior and a disrespectful attitude to the sex workers in the windows," the mayor's office said in a statement on Wednesday. The changes intented could include moving the brothels to new locations elsewhere in Amsterdam and the possibility of a sex worker "hotel" being created. The sex workers could also no longer seen from the street.
The Council of Amsterdam will decide in September after a large public consultation. Mayor Femke Halsema said the ideas are intended to protect sex workers’ rights, prevent crime and reduce nuisances for local residents and businesses.