Prostitution policy: Legalised

Prostituted persons:
25.000 – 30.000

Human trafficking:
6.250 victims each year

Domestic sex trafficking:
3.000 victims (1.320 girls)

Cross-border sex trafficking:
1.300 victims

In The Netherlands prostitution is legal since 1 October 2000, which makes the Dutch country fall within the regulationism model. Since the lifting of the general ban on brothels, it is legal to voluntarily sell and buy sexual services between consenting adults, under the rules set by the State.

Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands as long as it involves sex between consenting adults. Abuses like forced prostitution, underage prostitution and unsafe working conditions still occur. To give prostitutes better protection and improve their lives, the government wants to change the rules for businesses in the sex industry. The government also wants to make it a criminal offence to engage the services of a prostitute younger than 21.
Prostitution |
Prostitutie |

Regeling Uitstapprogramma’s Prostituees (RUPS)

Evaluatie uitstapprogramma’s prostitutie: Deelrapport Landelijke dekking en toekomstige financiële regeling
Deelrapport van Regioplan beleidsonderzoek met een evaluatie van de programma’s om uit de prostitutie te stappen. Dit deelrapport heeft betrekking op de landelijke dekking van de programma’s en de toekomstige financiële regeling.

Project DESIrE

DESIrE aims to generate a better understanding of the impact of different approaches to sex work legislation and policies on the prevalence of trafficking in human beings. DESIrE is particularly focused on four approaches in four different countries: The Netherlands, Croatia, Poland and Sweden. In brief, the Netherlands legalise sex work. The Swedish legislation targets the buyer and thus criminalises the demand side for sex work. In Croatia the sex workers are criminalised. In Poland the approach is somewhere in between.

Non-inclusion of Swedish data
This comparative report is based on country reports drafted by national teams in Croatia, The Netherlands and Poland. The first draft of the national report, submitted to the VUB by the Swedish team, was based on both qualitative and quantitative data. It was withdrawn after stakeholders and target groups that were interviewed withdrew their consent.
D3.2: Comparative Report (PDF)
Handbook on demand in the context of human trafficking for sexual exploitation (PDF)

Sex Work, Stigma and Violence in the Netherlands

Research shows that sex workers worldwide experience stigma and violence. To find out to what extent sex workers in the Netherlands experience violence, PROUD, the Dutch union for and by sex workers, and Aidsfonds – Soa Aids Nederland researched this. A total of 308 sex workers participated through questionnaires, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. These participating sex workers work across the country at various workplaces. Their gender, age, work experience and background are diverse.

Sex Work, Stigma and Violence in the Netherlands

The respondents engage in this work either to earn money, because they enjoy it and/or because it offers flexibility. Most respondents said they were satisfied with their job for more than half the time or always.
Report (PDF) EN