Half of Amsterdam's Red-Light Windows Close
Monday, December 29, 2008 10:03 AM

The mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, told The Times that half of the city’s 400 prostitution windows will close in an attempt to get rid of criminal gangs. The mayor is also closing some of the city’s 70 marijuana cafes and sex clubs.

According to The Times, a report by former prostitute-turned city council member, Karina Schaapman, found that more than 75 percent of the city’s prostitutes are from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. The mayor concluded from this data that international criminals were taking over Amsterdam’s legal sex trade, in part by trafficking women into the sex industry.

Not everyone is pleased with the announcement. The city’s prostitutes’ union, The Red Thread, disagrees with the decision to close windows. The union believes that the windows are safer for women who do not have to use pimps to find business.

Compiled from: Charter, David, Half of Amsterdam's red-light windows close, The Times, 27 December 2008.