People are clearly enjoying clean air, traffic free roads and empty buses and trains, but maybe they should be a little bit careful in what they wish for.
Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema is due to publish avision for tourism which will outline how she
sees tourism developing post coronavirus.
And now a group of organisations have published their own vision for the future of the city centre, ahead of the mayor's proposals. The residents' associations say their plan of action will restore the
balance between residents, companies and visitors.
The plan calls on officials to uphold the ban on holiday rentals and to close down illegal hotels. Cannabis cafes, it says, should only be open to residents. There should be fewer music festivals and
a ban on amusement park activities such as beer bikes, water bikes, segways and the like. In addition, the city, as a shareholder in Schiphol airport, should pressure for a reduction in holiday traffic. Mini supermarkets should be banned from selling
alcohol and the sex industry should be moved in its entirety to a hotel in a different location.
In fact moving the red light district is one of the options which mayor Femke Halsema has already mooted. And earlier this year, a report drawn up by city
officials suggested that a special room rental complex for prostitutes or an erotic centre complete with prostitution, sex theatres and other facilities are the two most likely options on the table.
Geerte Udo, chief executive of city marketing
department amsterdam&partners, told DutchNews.nl earlier this month that the city will aim to build a new industry that is socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. Instead of attracting the hen parties and stag nights who once turned the
red light district into an all night party, it is aiming for a culture and history-loving audience. Amsterdam has always been an open and international city, and we would love to welcome visitors as soon as possible, she told DutchNews.nl. But the right
Meanwhile, sex worker organisation Red Light United has published its own plans which would allow window prostitution, currently banned until September 1, to resume. The protocol would require both sex worker and client to wear masks and
rubber gloves and only positions which do not involve face to face contact would be permitted.
Coronavirus has caused Germany's brothels to close their doors, but some politicians inevitatbly want the ban to become permanent.
Prominent German politicians called for brothels to be closed indefinitely, extending their temporary closure due to
Sixteen lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right CDU party and the center-left Social Democrats wrote a letter, seen by German media, to the premiers of the 16 German states claiming that sex workers could
become super spreaders of the virus.
In their letter, the German lawmakers express hope that the closure of the brothels could be a good opportunity to improve opportunities for sex workers in Germany. Re-opening the brothels will not help these
women. Instead, they need apprenticeships, training or work in a secure job.
The letter calls for Germany to take the opportunity to adopt the Nordic model, under which paying for sex is illegal.
Japan has reportedly reversed its decision to discriminate against sex workers who are economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CNN has reported that Health and Labor Minister Kazunobu Kato declared that Japan's legal sex workers will be
eligible to receive government assistance as part of the nation's economic relief package.
Japan's original COVID-19 relief plan initially barred sex workers, along with bars, restaurants and gangsters, from receiving any economic aid and was
widely criticized for being discriminatory in its application
The financial relief will be paid to businesses and it is still unclear how self-employed sex workers would be treated under the new plan.
Canada introduced nasty sex work laws in 2015 that criminalised men and ended up endangering the sex workers.
Now a landmark case has resulted in a small victory that may challenge the constitutionality of the 2015 laws.
Charges against a
London, Ontario couple, Tiffany Harvey and Hamad Anwar, who were arrested in 2015 following a raid on their business, Fantasy World Escorts, have been stayed following a landmark decision by Judge Thomas McKay that the charges are unconstitutional. In
his decision, McKay noted, legislation for which the stated purposes include eliminating exploitation and reducing the risk of violence to sex workers actually has the effect of exposing sex workers to an increased risk of exploitation.
Anwar were tried for charges which prohibit the procuring, advertising and materially benefiting from someone else's sexual services.
Although legal analysts suggest the Crown will appeal McKay's decision, the ruling nonetheless denotes a landmark
case regarding sex workers' rights, one which could set a precedent for future cases.
Amsterdam Council has banned guided tours that take groups around the city's red-light district gawping at sex workers behind windows.
Sex work doesn't sit well with PC lawmakers these days so the council euphemistically claimed that the policy was to
address 'over-tourism'.Amsterdam Deputy Mayor Victor Everhardt said in a statement.
It is disrespectful to treat sex workers as a tourist attraction. Tours of the red-light district still will be allowed if guides
stick to the new restriction, which takes effect in April, and keep the windows off their itineraries. Banning group tours of the red-light district windows will help to prevent disruptions for residents and businesses.