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Human trafficking and legalized prostitution in the Netherlands

Author(s): Siegel Dina

Journal: Temida
ISSN 1450-6637

Volume: 12;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: prostitution | human trafficking | legislation | Netherlands

On 1 October 2000, the Netherlands became the first European country to legalize prostitution as a profession, with its rights and duties. On the other hand, this new Dutch law excluded those sex workers, who come from outside the EU. The majority of women working in the sex industry, who are considered illegal migrants in the Netherlands, had two choices: either leaving the country or disappearing into the illegal criminal circuit. For law enforcement and assistant services, it became extremely difficult to control the sector. In this paper, the consequences of the 'Brothel Law' are presented. What happens with illegal non-European sex workers in the Netherlands, how the problem of human trafficking is constructed in Dutch media and combated in the country, what could be learned from the 'Dutch case'? The paper aims to answer these questions and contribute to the general study on human trafficking and voluntary prostitution in Europe.
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