The Battle for the Red Light District

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Chrystal prepares her room for her next customer. She says she would not want to work behind a legal window because the rental prices are too high. People fear that closing many of the Red Light District's windows will force prostitutes to work in underground networks, where they could be subjected to exploitation and even slavery. Gijs Goosen, a city official in charge of the 1012 Project disagree. 'I believe the pimps will leave the Netherlands to work elsewhere in Europe'.

Project 1012 is named after the postal code of the Red Light District. It aims to clean-up the Red-Light District and stopping the influence of organized crime in the area. It also plans the closure of hundreds of window brothels and cannabis coffeeshops by 2015. This project is is the city’s response to reports documenting human trafficking and the growing influence of organized crime in downtown Amsterdam.

With this project, the city plans to close all businesses unable to prove they are not criminal organizations. Property owners refusing to leave will be expropriated and their properties will be bought by the city to be replaces with boutiques, galleries, restaurants and bars. So far, 109 window brothels have been closed and about 100 more are awaiting for closure. Brothels and shop owners are fighting back in court.