New rules for sex workers in the Netherlands: Legal age raised

New rules for sex workers in the Netherlands: Legal age raised

In order to tackle abuse in the sex industry and create a safe and healthy working environment, the government is laying down some new measures. Soon, sex workers will have to have a permit to do their job, and they will have to be 21 years old or over.

Measures against abuse in the sex industry

Moreover, it will soon be a punishable offence to be the pimp of a sex worker who does not have a permit. Human trafficking and exploitation in prostitution are already illegal, but the penal code will now be adjusted to also include those “involved” with sex workers getting “financial benefit”, making it illegal to be a pimp of sex workers who don’t have a permit.

With the new legislation, the government wants to create uniformity in the sex industry, as now different rules are being followed dependant on the city and the type of sex worker. For example, in some Dutch cities, the legal age to be a sex worker is 18, while in others, it is 21. Going forward, the minimum legal age will be 21 and all sex workers will have to have a permit.

Not rules not undisputed

The government’s plans are not without resistance, prostitutes have warned that sex workers may go underground and start working illegally. These are not the only qualms though; earlier this year, a youth movement handed in a petition to make buying sex illegal altogether.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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