Politicians demand end to red-light district promotion

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Politicians in Amsterdam want to see an end to the city’s famous red light district being promoted as a tourist destination.

The city’s Christian Democrat (CDA) group says that rather than encouraging visitors to include the area on their itinerary, organisations should campaign to highlight the injustices in the Wallen district.

“At the moment the Wallen are praised in marketing literature and by the council as an exciting area. Potential ‘clients’ are stimulated and given false assurances about the situation of sex workers,” said party chairman Marijke Shahsavari.

The red light area is already the subject of a clean-up campaign by authorities in the city centre, who last month began buying up premises in the area to stop them falling into criminal hands.

The idea of Project 1012, named after the area’s postcode, is to deter businesses seen as vulnerable to criminal infiltration, such as massage parlours, sex cinemas and gambling machine halls.

In September the city’s court of audit (rekenkamer) published a critical report which found that the number of ‘risky premises’ had increased since Project 1012 was launched.

It also cast doubt on whether closing down brothels, cannabis cafes and mobile phone shops would make any difference to criminal activity in the area.

Source: De Volkskrant: CDA Amsterdam wil dat promotie Wallen stopt
Photo by Robert van Riel

See also: Iamsterdam website
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