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"We're very busy making a development plan and we hope to have that ready by the end of the year." The plan affects about a third of the display windows in Amsterdam's famous Wallen district and the city hopes the move will take a bite out of trafficking and pimping -- problems that plague the sex industry in Amsterdam and indeed across Europe.But De Rode Draad (The Red Thread), an advocacy and support group for Holland's prostitutes, says that the move misses the target completely and disadvantages the sex workers themselves."We are still faced with distressing situations in which women are being exploited.It is high time for a thorough evaluation of the prostitution act." De Rode Draad, though, says the government needs to go after the criminals themselves rather than the prostitution industry.
But a deal reached Thursday will cut the number of prostitute display windows by a third.
In 2002, the city passed a law requiring businesses to submit detailed records in order to get their licenses renewed.
Indeed, the city is forcing Geerts to close his windows under the provisions of that law.
Thursday's deal will likely force many prostitutes out of the Amsterdam city center and into other red light districts on the edge of the city.
Cohen says he is not interested in ridding the Wallen district of all sex workers, as the trade is part of the neighborhood's identity and tradition.