Amsterdam city council helps clean up red light district

12th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

The city is recruiting a team of special council workers to help police check the papers of prostitutes.

Amsterdam – The Amsterdam city council is going to combine forces with police to prevent human trafficking in the red light district.

The city council will recruit and train special council workers to assist the police in various duties that aim to stem out illegal prostitutions.

Special council workers’ main duty will be checking the papers of prostitutes to make sure they are working legally, reports freesheet Spits.

Currently, only the police check whether the prostitutes working in the sex industry are legal immigrants and not forced into the sex industry.

Special council workers will also be trained to spot signs of human trafficking. If they come across other criminal activities, such as money laundering, they will pass the information on to the police.

It is possible that the council workers will be granted special status, making them special investigating officers.

Amsterdam is the first city council to take such measures. The new system will be introduced for three years and will be evaluated every year.

Sleazy image no more

In 2007, the city council announced a crackdown on crime in the red light district. A series of measures, which includes screening entrepreneurs for criminal records being allowing them a licence in the area, were introduced to rid the area of its sleazy image.

Many of the windows once occupied by prostitutes are now filled by shop window dummies wearing designs by fashion students.

The area has also been earmarked for an upgrade. The council hopes to attract more restaurants, cultural institutes and businesses from the creative sector.

The transformation, which has been dubbed Coalition Project 1012 after the area postcode, is due to take 10 years.

Many Amsterdammers feel the council is taking its nanny state tactics too far and there have been a number of demonstrations against the council's plans.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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