Judge Closes Utrecht Prostitute Boats due to Human Trafficking
UTRECHT, 26/07/13 - Some 230 prostitutes in Utrecht have lost their job. A district court in Utrecht has withdrawn the licence of their employer on grounds of human trafficking.
As a result of the decision, 98 work-places on prostitute boats on the Zandpad will disappear. Seventeen will also be shut down in Hardebollenstraat in the centre of the town. In total, it will affect around 230 women, many East Europeans.
The municipality had withdrawn the licence of the company Wegra. This was done among other reasons due to suspicions of human trafficking. Wegra fought the decision, but has lost its case at the Utrecht district court.
The prostitutes who have lost their workplace protested Thursday at the town hall in Utrecht after the verdict. Tents may be erected where the prostitutes can resume their business. “That plan began as a joke, but a number of women are now seriously considering it. We will talk it over and see what the possibilities are,” said their spokesman.
A group of prostitutes announced earlier they wanted to set up a cooperative in order to operate window prostitution in the city themselves. Mayor Aleid Wolfsen is backing that proposal and calling on banks to make credit available.