Clients Not Required to Check if Prostitutes are Registered
THE HAGUE, 30/05/13 - The new Prostitution Act from Security Minister Ivo Opstelten will come through the Upper House largely intact. Prostitutes will in future have to register, but their clients will not have to ensure that they are dealing with a registered prostitute.
The requirement to ensure the prostitute is registered would mean that clients would have to check whether the telephone number of the prostitute matched up with her registration number before their visit. The conservatives (VVD), Party for Freedom (PVV), small Christian party ChristenUnie and other parties in the Senate were for various reasons against this part of the act.
"Such an administrative transaction sits badly with the psychology of the brothel visitor at the moment that he wants to avail of the services of the prostitute,” ChristenUnie Senator Peter Ester found. PVV Senator Tobias Reynaers considered that enforceability would be extremely doubtful. The VVD reasoned the same way.
The proposed bill will therefore likely be adopted without this component. The new legislation raises the age threshold for prostitutes from 18 to 21. The act also specifies that sex businesses must from now on apply for a licence.
The debate has been postponed until further notice. The Senate wants more time to assess the proposals and gather more information before deciding on the bill, which has already been approved in the Lower House.