Greetings from The Slave Detective,
Firstly I apologise to FreeIrishWoman, a survivor of Trafficking, for not pointing out that the last part of my blog were her words. I thought I had posted it as a link from her page. Wise words like that are unlikely to be uttered from my lips.
This blog though is about someone else’s wise words, which I have attempted to express in similar ways in my blogs previously.
This is something I have found in my experience when dealing with victims of Trafficking who have passed through Netherlands. The Police there were excellent in their dealings with Trafficked Victims. They knew their prostitution streets very well. But they were frustrated by the organised crime that ran these streets. It was organised crime that had the backing of the law. Not in a way were Police were corrupt but that legislation ‘Hog Tied’ the Law Enforcement Agencies.
In an article by Julie Bindel today, she points out “After 12 years of legalised window brothels, attracting hordes of customers from all over Europe, politicians, police, citizens and even many of the prostitutes themselves are admitting that state-sanctioned prostitution is a failed social experiment.
Given almost ten years of evidence that criminal gangs control the red-light area of De Wallen, the local council has announced plans to clean it up in an attempt to transform the reputation of the city.”
“The sex industry in Amsterdam, often hailed as an exploitation-free zone, has also been shaped by the huge influx of desperate, vulnerable women coming to the EU from Eastern Europe, Africa and southeast Asia to work in the legal zones. Most will have been trafficked by criminal gangs or individual entrepreneurs promising them a better life and the chance to earn a lot of money. Trafficking, and a sharp rise in heroin and crack cocaine abuse among prostitutes, means the women are increasingly desperate, resulting in customers getting what they want.”
Many of the cases that my ‘Team, The excellent Human Trafficking Team at New Scotland Yard, dealt with had tentacles that at some point touched The Netherlands. Not always Amsterdam as you may think, but Alkmaar in Northern Holland (famous for its great Cheeses) and The Hague.
You hear that legalised Prostitution means that women have free health checks and command their own lives. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Women have to present themselves to rent the window, when I was in Alkmaar (2009) it was 110 Euro a day. They had to present identity and be offered sexual health advice.
This was run by a private company that watched the street of 140 windows from security camera’s overlooking the Street. They also knew when The Police were arriving to pay a visit and everyone was on their best behaviour! Trouble was bad for a very profitable business. Pimps stood on windows waiting for their ‘Girls’ to come out and be ‘walked’ home.
In some cities in the Netherlands sex workers CAN go to information centres specialized in healthcare, legal and social aid. This is a far cry from enforced health checks to work!
I hope these articles can be read by the uninformed.