Added: Evangelia Constance - Date: 06.10.2021 16:49 - Views: 31516 - Clicks: 3988
Find out how. The Dutch government has banned all sex clubs, brothels and contact professions until 1 September at the earliest. As a result, the Dutch red-light districts remain uncharacteristically empty. What some perceive as quiet and peaceful, worries Sonja Groot Obbink, a tour guide at Amsterdam Underground.
Before the crisis, she took groups through De Wallen, sharing her life story of addiction, homelessness and prostitution with inquisitive tourists. A look at sex on three major sites — Kinky. From a representative sample, investigative journalists from Pointer and Investico found that sex workers continue to work, while have temporarily stopped.
Although these sites carry a warning that physical contact is prohibited, they still allow sex workers to advertise physical sexual services. A representative from a brothel in Amsterdam recently asserted that the of advertisers for physical sex work has fallen and that the supply of webcam sex is increasing. But online sex work is only feasible for those who hold an official bank and own a private room.
So inevitably, many sex workers are carrying on, under dangerous conditions. Prior to the crisis, Dutch sex workers enjoyed some degree of security and social protection. Most of these measures have now vanished. Apart from direct exposure to the coronavirus, they face a heightened risk of violence by clients. There is also a higher risk of falling victim to human trafficking as sex workers face extreme economic hardship and become increasingly desperate.
And since their profession is once again criminalised, it is unlikely that they would call for help. The International Committee on the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe emphasised in a statement that many sex workers come from communities that already face high levels of marginalisation. These include people living in poverty, migrants and refugees, trans people and drug users.
Meanwhile, new data from the United Nations Population Fund warn that if the lockdown continues for six months, we can expect an additional 31 million cases of gender-based violence — a trend which would also impact sex workers. With this in mind, now is the time for the Dutch government to show that it supports all people and especially the most vulnerable, regardless of how they earn their money.
Pointer and Investico found that many sex workers in the Netherlands continue their work because they have no alternative income. The Dutch Cabinet has arranged support measures for self-employed people and companies.
The Labour Party PvdA asked the Dutch House of Representatives to treat all sex workers the same regardless of whether they are registered with the chamber of commerce in order to prevent unnecessary poverty traps and exploitation, but this request was declined by the Secretary of State Ankie Broekers-Knol.
Also EU nationals do not qualify for financial support and suddenly lose all income. Representatives from the sex industry have estimated that about five to six thousand sex workers both men and women are ineligible for the compensation scheme. But it is difficult to measure the true scope of this problem. Sally Hendriks from Aidsfondsa member organisation of Share-Net Netherlandsstresses that many sex workers change countries regularly — not to mention the huge informal circuit of undocumented sex workers for whom this work is the only source of income.
Even those eligible for government support are facing difficulties. On the other hand, many Dutch sex workers also choose not to register as the process is complicated and still carries stigma. Because many sex workers are falling through the cracks in financial assistance programmes, a support fund for sex workers has been set up. And as long as the COVID response relies on social distancing measures, it is clear that this crisis will continue affecting the health and safety of sex workers disproportionately — no matter if their work once was regarded legal and visible or not.
Several politicians, including Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema, have requested that the Cabinet move to block sex sites during the crisis and to guarantee assistance for people who want to get out of prostitution. Furthermore, on 12 May, a letter of appeal was sent to Hugo de Jonge, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport by Sekswerk Expertise, a network consisting of over 45 ex- sex workers, social service providers, researchers and lawyers.
They criticise the different regulations for contact professions considering that masseurs, physiotherapists, hairdressers and pedicurists have been allowed to return to work. Coincidently, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM amended their public advice to suggest that individuals without a permanent sexual partner come to agreements with like-minded people and reduce contact with other intimate partners.
It should be expected that sex workers can also take such precautions and tailor their work to reduce their risk as much as possible. Moreover, there needs to be a solution for sex workers who are currently excluded from emergency support.
The approach by the Caribbean Netherlands and New Zealand, where sex workers who are not registered with the Chamber of Commerce are eligible for financial compensation, has proved life-saving during the COVID crisis. At any rate, it is recommended to extend the existing temporary compensation scheme for sex workers instead of holding on to the current maximum of three months.
The situation faced by sex workers will not be fixed by policies alone, but we must ensure that mitigation measures do not reinforce the stigma and discrimination already faced by many in the industry. This will help to promote more inclusive support mechanisms that simultaneously protect public health and individual human rights. With a background in education and development, she works to strengthen linkages between policy-makers, practitioners and researchers for the development of better policies and practices in SRHR. To help us improve KIT.
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Sex work continues, despite ban, under dangerous conditions The Dutch government has banned all sex clubs, brothels and contact professions until 1 September at the earliest. Sonja Groot Obbink is a tour guide at Amsterdam Underground. Before the COVID pandemic, she took groups through Amsterdam's De Wallen, sharing her life story of addiction, homelessness and prostitution with tourists.
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