The mayor of Amsterdam is considering big changes to its Red Light District 5 months ago

The mayor of Amsterdam is considering big changes to its Red Light District

Changes are set to be introduced...

The mayor of Amsterdam is considering a raft of changes in the city’s famous Red Light District due to the deteriorating conditions that sex workers in the area are facing.

Femke Halsema said that the city “must dare to think about the Red Light District without prostitution”.

The changes are aimed at tackling the growing concerns over human trafficking while simultaneously reducing the number of tourists in the area.

Speaking with local newspaper Het Parool, she said: “These goals are not negotiable. For a long time, there was a sentiment of sailors around the red-light district who, after months of sailing, go to a ‘naughty’ Dutch woman. The situation now is that predominantly foreign women, of whom we do not know how they ended up here, are laughed at and photographed.

“Trafficking in human beings takes place in the most beautiful and oldest part of our city. Over the course of a few hundred years, situations have arisen that are not acceptable.”

Amsterdam's mayor has also expressed concern over the fact that women are photographed without their consent, insulted, and laughed at by those visiting the area.

Officials said that after discussions with sex workers, operators and other stakeholders, there are a number of options currently on the table.

These include a ban on the brothel windows while allowing prostitution to continue, reducing the number of brothels with display windows, relocating some of the establishments to another area of the city, and finally, setting up turnstiles on certain streets "so that you shield off pieces of public space for passersby who don’t need to be there".

Amsterdam's mayor said that she was “pragmatic” about the issue and would not challenge the right for women to be involved in sex work in the city.

Debates on the issue are to be held next week in the city centre’s Compagnietheater.

This news follows recent changes that were introduced for guided tours in the Red Light District.

As of 1 January, 2020, guided tours through the area will no longer be permitted.

The Municipality of Amsterdam's official site stated that the tours cause a lot of "bustle in the Red Light District and are not respectful towards sex workers". Guided tours may be given throughout the rest of the city, but only in areas that lie outside of the Red Light District.

You can read more about those specific changes here.