Dutch consider raising age at which women can enter prostitution

31st January 2008, Comments 0 comments

Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin told Parliament on Wednesday he supports a proposal to increase the age at which women can work in legal prostitution from 18 to 21.

31 January 2008

AMSTERDAM - Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin told Parliament on Wednesday he supports a proposal to increase the age at which women can work in legal prostitution from 18 to 21.

The minister said he will investigate the proposal put forward by MP Fleur Agema of the Freedom Party PVV.

Agema called on the government to take a number of measures to tackle forced prostitution and human trafficking, including raising the age at which women can enter prostitution.

Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, where it is heavily regulated and sex workers undergo intensive medical checks. Prostitutes and brothel owners pay income tax and have their own labour union.

In The Hague, many brothel owners have voluntarily increased the age of prostitutes to 21 to prevent exploitation. The Amsterdam municipality also supports increasing the age for legal prostitution.

The Amsterdam municipality recently announced a plan to close down a substantial number of brothels and replace them with haute couture fashion houses in an attempt "to upgrade" the city's world famous Red Light district.

There have been increased calls to fight human trafficking and exploitation and other crimes related to prostitution.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

Subject: Dutch news

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