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Red Light District
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  1. Red Light District Megan Settell Kristine Gerber Konor Schuster Cody Beach

  2. Red Light District Background • A “Red Light District” is in reference to an area that contains sexual entertainment • Prostitution, Sex Shops, Strip Clubs, Adult Theatres etc. • The term refers to the red lights that used to hang outside brothels, and even today many advertise using red light bulbs

  3. DeWallen, Amsterdam

  4. Soi Cowboy, Bangkok

  5. Frankfurt, Germany

  6. Red Light District Background • Official red light districts are all over the world, but the degree to which the activities are legal and/or regulated varies • Some are places specifically for legal prostitution that are closely monitored • De Wallen, Netherlands, Germany etc. • Other red light districts are just areas that are poorly monitored by authorities so illegal prostitution takes place • Thailand, and Asia

  7. History of Red Light District (Amsterdam) • Red light prostitution really began to pick up in the 14th century • By the end of the 17th, brothels were quite popular • 19th century (Napoleon ruled Holland) • Required prostitutes to have health checks twice a week to avoid giving soldiers syphilis • 1911 Brothels were banned, prostitution continued • Women couldn’t advertise in doors, and this is how the window advertising began

  8. Red Light District (Amsterdam) • Sex-workers have their own union • Police offer constant protection • There is an information center for tourists • Frequent monitoring and testing for “professional standards” • Photos of the women are not allowed

  9. The Red Thread (De Rode Draad) • Works in association with the FNV • FNV: an organization of unions • Advocates for prostitutes • Support group for sex workers • Aims to bring legitimacy in prostitution • Abolish discrimination against sex workers

  10. The Red Thread (cont.) • Regulations to prevent underage workers • Improve availability of healthcare for prostitutes • Strict monitoring of workplace practices and standards • Fight for improved working conditions for the prostitutes

  11. International Union of Sex Workers (IUSW) • Affiliated with GMB, a general workers union • Recognize both the rights and responsibilities of sex workers • Protect prostitutes from: • Harassment • Violence • Threats • Intimidation • Theft

  12. IUSW (cont.) • Provide prostitutes access to the full range employment, contract, and property laws • participate in and leave the sex industry without stigma • full and voluntary access to non-discriminatory health checks and medical advice

  13. Drugs Background • “Soft Drugs”- Legal • Cannabis, Mushrooms, “Medicinal” drugs • “Hard Drugs”- Illegal • Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide • Hallucinogenic Mushrooms- Illegal • Banned in 2008 • Over 200 species outlawed • Includes Psilocybin Mushrooms (“Shrooms”)

  14. Sexually Transmitted Infections • Correlations with drug use • Independent study carried out in Amsterdam • 1634 men, and 1188 women • 673 out of the 1634men identified as homosexual • 11.9% had Chlamydia, 3.4% had Gonorrhea, and 1.2% had Syphilis • 34.5% of men, and 16.0% of women had admitted to drug use in the past 6 months • 51.6% of the homosexual men, compared to the 22.6% of the heterosexual men

  15. STI’s Continued • A few quick notes on the previous study • 4407 patients at an STI clinic were asked to participate, but only 3015 agree • Of the 1392 patient who did not participate, Heterosexual males and non-Dutch citizens were significantly less likely to participate • Those that had a confirmed STI were likely to refuse as well

  16. Social/Ethical Negatives to Legalization • Expenses • Basic transaction costs around 50 euros (about $68) for 15-20 minutes • BUT anything extra, will cost extra • Maintenance • STDs/STIs • Increase global human trafficking • Increase in violent rape/crime • Increased homicide rates • Immoral practice

  17. Social/Ethical Positives to Legalization • Jobs • One prostitute said she got paid 750 (about $1125) an hour at one of the most expensive clubs in Holland • Another club charged 150 Euros (about $225) but was shared with the club owner • Medical Care • Tourist Attraction • Reduce crime (fewer arrests) • Improve public health (regulations) • Increase tax revenue (some already have policies in place) • Help people out of poverty • Remove prostitutes from the streets

  18. Pros and Cons • Pro: • “No person’s human or civil rights should be violated on the basis of their trade, occupation, work calling or profession. –The Prostitutes’ Education Network • Con: • “It violates the prohibition of torture and of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment because clients’ acts and practices of sexual ‘entertainment’ and pornography are acts of power and violence over the female body. – Cecilia Hoffman, Secretary of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

  19. "Firstly [after tolerance zones were created in Edinburgh] there was a lower rate of criminality associated with street prostitution because of the intelligence that the police had built up in the area, no pimps and things like that. Also there were no under aged girls working as prostitutes, and there now are because there's no tolerance zone, the police don't exactly know where, you know, the women are going to be. And thirdly, the huge benefit to public health, of the woman being in touch with the health services, the fact that the HIV infection which should have been rampant amongst street prostitutes in Edinburgh was actually at a lower rate of infection than it is amongst the general public." Oct. 11, 2002 - Margo MacDonald

  20. Public Opinion: •

  21. Sources • Red-light district. (Updated: 2013, November 2013). Retrieved from • Red light disctrict: Amsterdam. (2013). Retrieved from • Moro, M. (n.d.). Facts on the red light district in amsterdam. Retrieved from • “International Union of Sex Workers”. IUSW, 2002- 2009. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. • “International Union of Sex Workers”. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. • “Dutch Prostitutionism: From Sex Trade to Trade Unionism”. Babel International, 2007-2013 • “The Red Thread (De Rode Draad)”. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. • “FNV”. FNV, 1998-2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.

  22. Sources • Coutinho, R. A., & Et. Al., (2012). Recreational drug use during sex and sexually transmitted infections among clients of a city sexually transmitted infections clinic in amsterdam, the netherlands. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 39(7), 518-527. • Hope, V., & Et. Al., (2013). Factors mediating hiv risk among female sex workers in europe: a systematic review and ecological analysis. BMJ Open, 1-14. • Ghitis, F. (2013, July 17th). Amsterdam for tourists: What's legal?. CNN Travel. Retrieved from • Skelton, P. (Updated: 2013, November 21st). Amsterdam drugs. Retrieved from • "An Interview with A Prostitute Working in Amsterdam’s Prostitution Information Center." The Delicious Day. 08 Nov. 2008. Web. 19 Nov 2013. <>.

  23. Sources (cont.) • Roger, . "Prostitute prices in amsterdam, just in case you were wondering." amsterdamlogue., 19 Oct. 2010. Web. 19 Nov 2013. <>. • "Hardcore from the Heart-The Pleasures Profits and Politics of Sex in Performance." ProCon Organization, 30 Apr 2007. Web. 19 Nov 2013. <>.