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Adapted by Bryan Lufkin. But that might soon end. Dutch parliament is currently preparing to debate the legality of prostitution in the Netherlands. With the industry facing opposition from both the Christian right and feminist left, sex workers in the Red Light District are under pressure to protect their right to work. Could these debates lead to big changes in sex work around the world? And how could that affect the jobs and lives of the people in the industry?
The grassroots effort has gathered over 46, public signatures over a long seven years, finally prompting parliamentary debate, says Sara Lous. Right now, paid sex between two consenting adults in the Netherlands has been legal since What do Red Light workers think, though? So would legal prostitution continue to give women freedom to make money the way they want — or is it actually oppressive?
Prostitution laws, and how well they protect women and give them access to benefits like healthcare, vary greatly from country to country. Experts say that in poorer countries, anti-prostitution measures are often weaponised to punish women sex workers for having control over their own bodies. But others believe that the focus needs to be on empowering the women involved, who tend to already be parts of a vulnerable sector population.
The best way to do that, some think? Amsterdam's famed Red Light District - a cultural icon for the city and symbol of sexual liberation for some Credit: Getty Images. Parreira is an occasional sex worker from the US state of Nevada who also holds a PhD, and she researches the sex industry. Abolition would put hundreds of thousands out of work. Bindel believes prostitution is rooted in gender inequality. She also points to data from Amnesty International and the medical journal The Lancet, which both support full decriminalisation.
They could also negotiate safer sex practices and improved brothel conditions, she argues. They were empowered; even able to sue for rights violations. As for the Nordic model? That fundamentally, the men are predators — but that is not the reality among most sex workers. If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.