Social Issues

Amsterdam’s red light district reopens: all positions allowed

By Imane Rachidi

Amsterdam, Jul 1 (efe-epa).- “Sex workers can return to work. All positions are allowed.” And with that, the Dutch government authorized the country’s red light districts to resume activities on Wednesday.

After a four-month hiatus due to the pandemic, many sex workers were left without an income to meet their basic needs with many turning to the black market.

Many workers from Eastern Europe left The Netherlands and returned to their home countries when the bustling red light district in Amsterdam ground to a halt and its iconic brash lighting was switched off until further notice.

“They ran out of money and had to go back to their families in order to survive there. They were very disappointed with the government. Almost all professions that required contact had resumed work, except us,” a 34-year-old woman, who uses the pseudonym Felicia Anna, says.

Anna, who has been in the industry for more than a decade, considers risks exist everywhere, Dutch newspaper AD quoted her as saying.

She was lucky to have some savings to survive the pandemic but she worries that “if a crisis looms, the blow will also come” to prostitution.

The Dutch government included sex workers in its state rescue packages for professionals affected by the Covid-19 economic crisis.

But it was barely enough to “pay expensive rent and fixed costs” prostitutes incur given the high-risk nature of their work.

Health insurance and social security payments are higher than in other professions.

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