Petition to criminalise prostitution in NL receives over 40.000 signatures

Petition to criminalise prostitution in NL receives over 40.000 signatures

Over 40.000 people, especially youths, have signed a petition to make paying for sex a punishable act. The petition itself is an initiative of the Christian inspired youth movement Exxpose. The signatures collected from the “I am priceless” campaign will be handed over to parliament this week.

Bringing the issue of prostitution to the Dutch government

According to the leader of the initiative, Willemijn de Jong, “By making prostitution legal, the government is normalising paying for sex.” The youth movement also poses that the majority of young people in prostitution end up there due to financial emergencies. De Jong reasons that making purchasing sex illegal would mean that vulnerable woman can no longer be bought by “men with power and money”.

It has taken the movement six years to get the necessary 40.000 signatures to force parliament to debate the issue, and with it, they hope that the Netherlands decides to make paying for sex illegal, as it is in Sweden, Norway and France. In these countries, prostitutes are not punishable, however, those paying for sex are. Whether or not the signatures are enough for a debate to happen remains to be seen. They must first be checked to ensure they belong to eligible voters.

Dutch politicians divided

Dutch politicians are divided on the subject, with Christian Union leader Gert-Jan Segers an advocate of a stricter policy and Kees van der Staaij, head of the Reformed Political Party, happy with the appeal. D66 MP Achraf Bouali, however, disagrees, stating that “Criminalising sex work and prostitution is not the solution. We have to look at the cause of poverty and exploitation, and the reasons why people end up in prostitution against their will. This is what we need to address.”

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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deastman 14:17 | 18 April 2019

hi...american expat here. never been to a prostitute, but...what some people may not have taken into account is that sex can be an addiction. and addicts, sometimes, will do violence to get their drug. i could go on, but i'll let everyone figure out the rest of it for themselves... for what it's worth, i was a nurse in america and helped write two self help books.

BigMat 08:32 | 19 April 2019

"We have to look at the cause of poverty and exploitation,". Yeah that's the kind of useless message D66 would be saying. In 10 years you will still be looking. We can do both: 1. ban prostitution, it's a shame to let it happen 2. do the looking at the cause...