Prostitution in the Netherlands is legal and regulated. Operating a brothel is also legal. As with other countries, estimates regarding the total number of prostitutes vary. Most sources place this number between holland sex industry,000 and 30,000.
An article published in 1997 in the International Encyclopedia of Sexuality claimed that the total number of prostitutes in the Netherlands was about 15,000 to 20,000. A later study by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2000 estimated that there were a total of between 20,000 and 25,000 prostitutes in the Netherlands. UNAIDS estimated to number to be 25,000 in 2016. In the 1970s, the majority of foreign prostitutes were from Thailand, in the 1980s from Latin America and the Caribbean. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, many prostitutes came from Central and Eastern Europe.
A Dutch report released in June 1999 estimated that two thirds of prostitutes were foreigners. In 2008, Karina Schaapman, a former prostitute and former member of the Amsterdam city council, produced a report about the Amsterdam sex trade. She offered the police a Facebook with 80 “violent pimps”, of whom only three were Dutch-born. Amsterdam’s 8,000 to 11,000 prostitutes were from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.
Drug addicts, including drug tourists, were said to be numerous in the street prostitution group. In 2008, city statistic showed 142 licensed brothels in Amsterdam, with about 500 window displays, and officials estimated that sexual transactions in Amsterdam account for about 100 million US dollars per year. Dutch nationals or former Dutch nationals. Most prostitution consists in females selling sex to males. In 2011 Dutch authorities started asking sex workers to pay taxes on their earnings. Some Dutch cities provide facilities called “afwerkplek”, a sex drive-in enclosure for cars for street prostitution. During the Middle Ages, prostitution was tolerated.
The attitude of worldly and religious authorities towards prostitution was pragmatic. Many cities tolerated prostitution to protect chaste female citizens from rape and defilement. There were, however, a number of conditions imposed on prostitutes and their clients. Still, prostitution was considered a dishonorable profession. Prostitutes were not expected to conform to sexual rules, and were not protected by the law.
The concept of “honor” was very important in early modern Dutch society. Honor had social significance, but it also had legal ramifications. Despite the fact that prostitution was seen as indispensable, city governments tried to separate “dishonorable” prostitution from the honorable world. Until the fifteenth century, Dutch cities tried to keep prostitution outside of the city walls. Amsterdam shall not entirely forbid the keeping of brothels. During the sixteenth century, attitudes about sexuality changed under the influence of the Spanish occupation and rising Protestantism. Sexual activities were only tolerated within marriage.
Calvinistic morals were mirrored in the government policies of the seventeenth century. Titillating activities like dancing, fairs and prostitution were sometimes outlawed. This morality did not, however, always correspond with the views and customs of the people. During the Golden seventeenth century sexuality was openly displayed in paintings and in literature. During the eighteenth century the morals preached by the church and government became more in line with certain developments within Dutch society. There was a growing middle class which tried to distinguish itself by a strong work ethic and self-control.