Eberhard van der Laan, mayor of Amsterdam, has opened a brothel to be run by sex workers in the city’s red light district.
Prostitution, like marijuana, is legal and regulated in the Netherlands.
Reuters reports that the brothel is part of the initiative by sex workers and city officials to improve the working conditions for sex workers and get rid of organised crime in the country’s sex industry.
The brothel, which has been dubbed the ‘municipal brothel’ because of the mayor’s involvement, is spread across four buildings enabling 40 sex workers to offer their services from the premises.
The building has been leased by the city to an organisation called My Red Light, the first Dutch sex workers collective.
A statement on the organisation’s website described the move as a “dream come true”.
“The rooms of the new brothel have been decorated by an interior designer to create an intimate ambiance with basic and luxury rooms available, as well as room accessible for disabled clients.”
According to the collective, profits made at the establishment will be “invested in initiatives for improving the position of sex workers”.
Prostitution has been legal in Netherlands since 2000 and owners of sex-selling establishments have had to obtain licenses and comply with municipal rules.
In June 2012, a new five-year prostitution program was launched in the city to “put an end to human trafficking and exploitation in the prostitution sector,” and to keep sex workers safe, independent and able to work under good conditions.
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