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De Volkskrant - Netherlands | Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ban on prostitution the wrong way to go

The Dutch parliament plans to curtail prostitution along Swedish lines by punishing those who purchase sexual services. The left-liberal daily De Volkskrant doubts the wisdom of the proposal: "A ban can limit the tacit acceptance of visits to prostitutes, but it can't prevent them. There will always be prostitutes, and paying customers as well. The experts in Scandinavian countries are still at odds over the effectiveness of a ban. And there are just as many problems with this sector there as there are here in the Netherlands, where exactly the opposite strategy has been in effect since the turn of the century. Here the ban on brothels was lifted in the hope that working conditions could be controlled more effectively. The idea was to tackle problems like the trafficking in women, which is where the real political challenge lies. ... By maintaining contact with endangered women and monitoring their working conditions, at least they will not be abandoned entirely to their fate."

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