The Labor party is considering such a law, DutchNews.nl reported Monday. Myrthe Hilkens, a member of Parliament, is scheduled to visit Sweden this week, where people who pay for sex can be fined or jailed.
Hilkens said forced prostitution is one of the “most important misunderstandings of our time.” Fifty percent to 80 percent of the women working as prostitutes in the Netherlands are reported to have been forced into the trade, Hilkens said.
Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher is working with the Justice Ministry to develop a strategy to deal with the sex industry.
Hilkens told the AD she is visiting Sweden with an open mind, adding that forced prostitution is one of the ‘most important misunderstandings’ of our time.
Between 50% and 80% of the women working in the Dutch sex industry are said to have been forced into prostitution. ‘It is not the man who visits her who forces her but a people trafficker or a pimp. Or she is forced by addiction,’ Hilkens said. ‘I feel responsible for these women.’
Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands and brothels can apply for official licences. The government is planning to increase the age at which women can become prostitutes to 21.