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Amsterdam to Move Red-light District Out of Main City Citing Tourist Behavior, Sex Workers Fume

Visitors enter a peep-show theatre during the first-ever open day of Amsterdam's red light district February 18, 2006. REUTERS/Paul Vreeker/File Photo

Visitors enter a peep-show theatre during the first-ever open day of Amsterdam's red light district February 18, 2006. REUTERS/Paul Vreeker/File Photo

Brothel windows of Amsterdam’s De Wallen red light district will be shut down and a new "erotic centre" will be set up away from the city centre.

Amsterdam city council is looking forward to resetting the city's tourist attractions by transferring its red-light area to a new location. The decision was made by the city's mayor, Femke Halsema, who proposed to shut down many brothel windows in the narrow alleys around the city's docks. The proposal was backed by a broad group of political parties over concerns that women working in the area faced constant gawping and abuse.

According to a report by the Guardian, brothel windows of Amsterdam’s De Wallen red light district will be shut down and a new "erotic centre" will be set up away from the city centre.

Dennis Boutkan, member of the Dutch Labour party told the Guardian that the move is a "reset of Amsterdam as a visitor city". He further said that tourists are welcome to enjoy the beauty and freedom of Amsterdam "but not at any cost". Meanwhile Dutch political party CDA's Diederik Boomsma told the British news organization that they had to intervene firmly.

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However, it seems the intervention did not consider the opinion of the sex workers who earn their living from this tourist attraction. A lobby group known as Red Light United expressed their anger against the Mayor's move. In a blog post from last year, the Red Light United said that sex workers in the red-light district are furious at the mayor's plan. Felicia Anna of the Red Light United said that the decision is not a shocker for them since they had already observed the signs of a downpour. The sex workers believe that the relocation plan will not solve the problem.

Anna mentions in the post that the project was started because of the crowds and nuisance in the district and Halsema himself established that the crowd is caused by many brothel windows being closed, which has made the area smaller and concentrated with visitors. "How does closing even more windows help? Don't you just repeat the cause of this problem?", asks Anna.

In a survey conducted by the lobby group, only 7 percent of the sex workers in the Red Light District see a future in this plan whereas more than 90 percent disagree with it.