Amsterdam's red light district.
The most valuable thing in Amsterdam and in the Netherlands as a whole is freedom. Freedom of choice. Few countries in the world are as open and as liberal in all areas of society as the Netherlands. At the same time, almost any government initiative is justified from the point of view of public benefit – whether it is the legalization of light drugs or escort services. This does not mean that the consequences of the adopted laws are only positive. Everything has its price: along with the positive effect, there is also a negative one. But this is the unique experience of this country – the postulate is put at the forefront: "a small evil is for the greater good."
"Love" for money
De Wallen is the largest of the three "sex districts" of Amsterdam. This place is known all over the world as the red Light District. A few centuries ago, almost every ship passing through the city sailed through the canals of this area. At that time, the Harbor of Amsterdam was one of the most important shopping centers in Europe. Today, it is a place of pilgrimage for tourists, where everyone pursues their own goals – to gaze and satisfy their interest or to plunge into the world of "wanton love". The area is known for its sex shows, sex shops, brothels and strip clubs. There are almost three hundred storefronts in the block, lit by red and blue neon lights. And behind each one sits a girl, or almost a girl, from Ukraine, Russia, the Netherlands, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Neon colors have their own specific meanings: a girl is waiting for a customer behind a red window, and a transsexual is waiting for a blue one. The main thing is not to mix it up.
Life here boils around the clock: from morning to evening, tourists enjoy the history and architecture of the area, almost all the Windows open after dark, bars and coffee shops fill up-everywhere the smell of "weed" and noisy companies. The girl behind the window is both an entrepreneur and an employee in one person. Their activities are completely legal and regulated by the state. They pay taxes, have social security.package and medical insurance. That's just a mortgage and a commercial Bank account they are unlikely to be given to issue.
According to the laws of the Netherlands, a representative of this ancient profession can not be under 21 years of age. The shift must not exceed 11 hours. They must always carry a copy of their identity card, as well as registration with the Dutch BRA (business registration Agency) and a residence certificate. In the Netherlands, the rights of sex workers are championed by the PIC (Prostitute Information Center). PIC provides assistance to girls who are only at the beginning of their journey-organizes training courses, conducts consultations, helps with paperwork and invoices. One of the main goals of this organization is to make it clear to society that sex workers are just like everyone else, they are not victims, and the profession is not a stigma to be ashamed of. In addition, PIC is a place where the girl will be heard, help to adapt and help, because many employees themselves were once in the same situation. Fifty percent of the girls behind the Windows are single mothers or divorced women. Only 6% of them said they do it because they love sex. Most women often see this as an opportunity to get a good income.
From the point of view of legislation, the state pays special attention to the owners of storefronts (booths) in order to eliminate human trafficking and pimping. Girls rent booths daily or for a week. On average, the cost of renting a booth in the Red Light district is 160-165 euros during the night shift and about 80 euros during the day. Girls decide how much they will work.