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Utrecht to experiment with letting sex workers work from home

Nederlands Nieuws

Utrecht to experiment with letting sex workers work from home


The municipality of Utrecht is launching an experiment allowing sex workers to work from home. One sex worker will be allowed to work from their own home, provided they meet several conditions. The city will also experiment with one or two small-scale locations where up to 15 sex workers can rent space, alderman Eelco Erenberg (Public Health) announced.

Utrecht has struggled to find space for sex workers to work safely and transparently for some time. After several failed attempts to open a sex work location on Nieuwe Zandpad, the city asked an expert committee led by Minister of State Winnie Sorgdrager for advice. In consultation with sex workers and others involved, the city decided to try out the above two recommendations.

“Sex work is a legal profession for which there must be room in Utrecht. In a safe way that fits the current zeitgeist,” alderman Erenberg said. Sex workers have long waited for more legal room to work in the city, he said. “We have had many conversations and listened to sex workers and all kinds of other people involved. Based on that, we have made this proposal as the start of a safe, clean, and transparent sex work policy.”

According to the municipality, sex work from home already happens under the radar, and sex workers and aid organizations indicated that sex workers would be more likely to report abuses if they wouldn’t also get into trouble for working from home. The city, therefore, decided to allow sex work from home for one person working from their own home. They’ll have to meet several conditions, including that they must be registered at the address, can’t advertise on the outside of the home, and their earnings must exclusively benefit the sex worker themself.

“In the coming period, we will work out the conditions in more detail with those involved,” the city said. The new regulations will take effect next year at the earliest.

The municipality will also experiment with one or two small-scale locations where sex workers can rent workspace. “This offers relatively much freedom to work when they want to, in a place where other sex workers are also present” and with support from sex workers and aid organizations, among others, the city said.

“The municipality is prepared to support a collective of sex workers in the start-up phase. Through advice and legal support and help in finding a location,” the city said. Those interested can contact the municipality.



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