Sexwork and political parties
How do Dutch political parties view sexwork?
On March 17th of 2021 there will be elections held in the Netherlands for the election of the members of the “Tweede Kamer” of the States General. The “Tweede Kamer” of the States General, often referred to simply as the Tweede Kamer, together with the Eerste Kamer, form the Dutch States General, the national parliament for the Netherlands. The Tweede Kamer can be compared to the House of Representatives in the United States, the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, the Chamber of Representatives (federal) in Belgium, the National Assembly in France and the Bundestag in Germany. We thought this was the right time to list how various political parties in the Netherlands view sex work.
Political parties GroenLinks, Party for the Animals and D66 express themselves fairly pragmatically about sex work. According to these parties, sex work is just work and sex workers must be able to choose their profession in complete freedom. The parties are particularly committed to equal rights for sex workers and against further criminalization and stigmatization of the sector.
Despite the fact that SP is considered a left-wing political party, they have agreed to lift the brothel ban, legalizing prostitution. SP is in favor of the introduction of a national licensing system to further increase the visibility and control of the sector. Combating wrongdoings such as human trafficking and improving the social position of the sex worker are paramount. VVD and PVV share the opinion of SP and are in favor of further (national) regulation of sex work and raising the minimum age to 21 years. A ban on sex work will not combat wrongdoings. Illegal activities, including forced prostitution, must be detected and punished, but otherwise sex work is a legal profession in which the government does not have to play a major role.
In the past, PvdA has regularly expressed negatively about sex work, which should be banned. However, this appears to be somewhat nuanced. PvdA’s statements about sex work are mainly aimed at finding ways to combat wrongdoings, including illegal prostitution.
According to the Christian Union, sex work is a form of modern slavery that generates many victims. Christen Unie is against prostitution and opts for a policy that they believe causes as few victims as possible. This would be the ‘Nordic model’ or Swedish model in which the use of the services of a sex worker is punishable, offering them is not. The motivation for this is that making the demand for sex work a criminal offense would also decrease this demand. A sex worker is by definition seen as a victim by the Christian Union.
CDA and SGP are in favor of criminalizing prostitution as much as possible and the imposition and enforcement of a ban on paid sexual services. Sex work is said to be outdated and using the services of a sex worker should become a criminal offense because there is too much abuse in this sector.