(PS: This was written a long time ago, and my opinions are changing all the time. In reality what I believe now, is that prostitution can never be regulated)
I’m trying to figure what EXACTLY is wrong with Dutch prostitution and what are the bottlenecks.
- Clients are not aware of the human trafficking phenomenon. Many victims of human trafficking often don’t behave like victims of human trafficking and can hide their situation very well towards clients. Many victims of human trafficking even don’t identify themselves as victims. (take for instance, women who are forced or manipulated to work by a loved one, such a their husband, boyfriend or even their mother or father.)
- There’s still human trafficking in legal brothels.
- The police is not able to identify victims of human trafficking during inspections and usually restrict themselves to checking passports and documents.
- There’s no precise knowledge about the scale of human trafficking and where it takes place.
- Several national and foreign documents claim that the legalization of prostitution is basically a success for it supposedly has cleansed legal sex establishments of abuses such as human trafficking, while human trafficking itself is thought to have moved underground.
- Yet, though, most police investigations are still related to legal sex establishments, which suggests that human trafficking in legal brothels is significant. Also many media appearances of victims suggest that most victims still work in legal sex establishments (especially window prostitution).
- The proprietors of the sex establishments where the human trafficking takes place usually get away with it while most evidently knew what was going on…… or worse, they were human traffickers themselves. This doesn’t encourage self-regulation. Those brothels should be closed down.
- But... not al things should be blamed on the proprietors. Fact is that much of the human trafficking happens voluntarily. Many victims have a romantic relationship with their pimps. The proprietor can ask many questions to a prostitute, but it's forbidden to invade her private life.
- There is no public list of legal sex establishments. Therefore there’s no way for clients to figure out which brothel (or escort agency) is legal and which one is not. So, even if brothels could be freed of human trafficking and human trafficking would move “underground”, it’s not possible for clients to be critical consumers.
- Immigration in the Netherlands (like in many other countries) is severely restricted. It makes labour immigrants - including migrating prostitutes - very dependent on third persons. Probably most foreign victims of human trafficking knew that they would be working in the sex industry, but they didn’t know how to organize their trip and how to arrange accommodation. Many victims of trafficking are treated like criminals because of their illegal status, that makes them very vulnerable to exploitation. I believe immigration should be fully legalized. However, the influence of immigration restrictions must not be overestimated for many victims of human trafficking are not illegal aliens, and many victims are citizens of the country where they are exploited.
- Help out the prostitutes who want to leave prostitution but can't do that because of financial troubles. Possible most (or even nearly all) prostitutes who work for themselves belong to this group. This is a difficult problem because there's a big worldwide poverty problem which is difficult to solve within a short period of time.
- Perhaps it would be a good idea if drugs were legalized/decriminalized. Then those women and men who work in prostitution to fund their drug-habit might be able to live a more "normal" life. The only disadvantage though is that there obviously will be more drug-addicts. And many prostitutes will still be using drugs to numb their feelings.