By Evie Carrick
July 08, 2019
Red light district, Amsterdam
Credit: Getty Images

Amsterdam has already taken steps to attract only “quality tourists” and ban organized tours of the Red Light District. Now, under the leadership of Amsterdam’s first female mayor, the city is considering a complete overhaul of the infamous neighborhood.

Mayor Femke Halsema launched plans last week to further protect sex workers from gawking tourists. Her report, “The Future of Window Prostitution in Amsterdam,” outlines four main solutions that will presented to Amsterdam’s residents and businesses this month. The scenarios include: ending the practice of women standing on display in window-fronted rooms, stepping up the licensing of window workers, reducing the number of city-center brothels, and finally, closing down the brothels and moving them elsewhere.

Later this year, the solution chosen will be put to vote in city council.

The proposed overhaul, which Reuters called the “most radical revamp of the sex trade there since the Dutch legalized prostitution nearly two decades ago” is a result of several social shifts, including an increase in tourists, some of whom take and post pictures of the women using their phones.

“We’re forced by circumstances because Amsterdam changes,” Halsema told Reuters in an interview before the report’s launch. “I think a lot of the women who work there feel humiliated, laughed at - and that’s one of the reasons we are thinking about changing.”

Until a scenario is finalized, Amsterdam’s Red Light District will remain open and tours of the district are available until 7 p.m.