Netherlands targets clients in draft prostitution law
Clients of unlicensed prostitutes in the Netherlands may in future risk prosecution under a proposed new law, the cabinet said on Friday.
The Hague - Clients of unlicensed prostitutes in the Netherlands may in future risk prosecution under a proposed new law, the cabinet said on Friday.
"The law is meant to regulate the prostitution industry, not to obstruct the legal part of it," said a statement after the weekly cabinet meeting in The Hague.
"The new law aims to end abuses like human trafficking."
The draft law, yet to be approved by parliament, will make it compulsory for prostitutes to go through a registration process.
Municipalities will decide how many brothels to allow in their borders, and where.
"Prostitutes will become liable for prosecution if they work without the required registration, or in a business with no permit," said the statement.
"Clients who make use of the services of illegal prostitutes can be prosecuted, because by doing so they help sustain a form of prostitution in which abuses and exploitation are more difficult to prevent."
Prostitution has been legal in the Netherlands since 2000, but only brothels and businesses letting out streetside windows to prostitutes have hitherto required municipal authorisation.
Prostitutes in the Netherlands enjoy the same employment benefits as other workers, whether salaried or self-employed.
The statement did not specify the penalties.