Posted on: May 20, 2016
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Prostitution won’t return to the Hardebollenstraat if it’s up to the executive board of the municipality of Utrecht (Holland’s fourth largest city). The board of Utrecht Ends Prostitution at the Hardebollenstraat by buying up 5.9 million euros worth of real estate. Thus preventing sex workers from returning to their former work environment. What the municipality plans to do with its new real estate is unclear at this time. The upper floors of the buildings are still inhabited by regular tenants.
Mayor Jan van Zanen communicated this long awaited decision to the board last Friday night on the 13th of May. The decision was originally set to be released on the 1st of April, but van Zanen kept postponing. According to the mayor a third party had presented new information that would possibly be important.
The postponement led to great disappointment at Freya. The company, owned by former prostitute Caja van Tolie, has been trying to get a permit since November 2013 from the local authorities to start its business. Freya met all the requirements. Van Zanen acknowledges that the executive board has tested the patience of Freya and its sex workers.
The neighborhood is strongly opposed to the return of window brothels because of the hindrance and trouble they brought, according to some locals. “What a great Friday the 13th” states the chairman of the neighbourhood campaign against the return of window prostitution.
A majority in the executive board now wants to concentrate all prostitution at the Nieuwe Zandpad in Utrecht. The question is if the mayor can make this happen from a legal perspective.
All the window brothels on the Hardebollenstraat and the Nieuwe Zandpad were closed three years ago because the operators of the windows didn’t act enough against human trafficking that was believed to be going on at that time.
In September 2015 we did a comprehensive interview with Caja van Tolie, former prostitute and prospective brothel owner in the Netherlands. We met each other in Amsterdam’s Red Light District and wanted to know more about her profession and experiences. Read it here: