Close the windows? Amsterdam mulls red-light district change

Amsterdam is proposing "fundamental" changes to its famed red-light district to ensure the rights of sex workers, prevent crime and reduce nuisance for local residents and businesses.
Image: Amsterdam Red Light District
People walk through a narrow alley in the Red Light district in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Dec. 8, 2017.Peter Dejong / AP file

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By Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Amsterdam is proposing "fundamental" changes to its famed red-light district to ensure the rights of sex workers, prevent crime and reduce nuisance for local residents and businesses.

The city said in a statement that Mayor Femke Halsema will discuss with sex workers and residents four options for the neighborhood's future.

The proposals range from closing the curtains of windows so that prostitutes are not on public display, closing down brothels with display windows altogether, and moving prostitution somewhere else in the city.

The announcement Wednesday of a public consultation on the future of the neighborhood marks the latest attempt by Amsterdam officials to clean up a part of the city's historic center that has in recent years become a noisy, overcrowded tourist magnet.