- Category: News
- Created on Wednesday, 13 June 2012 16:22
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
Around 8,000 sex workers ply their trade in the city, and the number working against their will is reckoned to be anything between 8 per cent and 90 per cent of the total.
“Even if you take the lowest percentage, that is a shocking number,” said city mayor Eberhard van der Laan.
In the last few years the city council has tried to draw a clear line between the licensed 'window brothels' and the illegal sex trade, run by criminal gangs who smuggle women into the country and force them to work.
The Ministry of Security and Justice and the campaign group Report Crime Anonymously (Meld Misdaad Anoniem) want clients to be aware of the signs of forced labour and report them.
The campaign has posted a short cartoon on internet sex sites which at first appears to be a striptease in silhouette, until the outline of a man appears in the doorway and knocks the woman to the ground.
Report Crime Anonymously hopes the campaign will teach clients to recognise the signs of forced prostitution, such as fear, bruising and a lack of enjoyment in their work.
Justice minister Ivo Opstelten, who joined the launch of the campaign in the red light district, said: “Human trafficking is a dreadful, abhorrent crime. The victims are often vulnerable people who have nowhere to go.”
“In order to tackle it we need the help of third parties and customers.”
Two previous campaigns, in 2006 and 2008, each led to more than 120 reports of illegal prostitution.