Het Parool

In a letter to the editor in the Parool of December 2010, Esther and Marian of the high class escort agency Women of the World explain why they oppose to the plan to introduce a registration for escorts with an accompanying pass. According to them, this will result in women who do escort work as a side job disappearing into illegality. Moreover, sex workers who are now illegal will be the first to apply for these passes. The result will be the opposite world with an unintended consequence.

Registration of escort ladies backfires

What a remarkable article in Het Parool last Thursday: ‘Escort ladies do not want to be registered’. The escort branch apparently consists of Marie-Louise, an independent escort, and two of her clients. They don’t see Marie-Louise as a prostitute because Marie-Louise is in it for the fun and the one appears to exclude the other.

Moral of the story is that as of next year, there will be a compulsory registration for escorts, with an accompanying card. Clients will have to ask for this card, otherwise they are breaking the law. And that’s not to the liking of Marie-Louise and her clients, because it disturbs the illusion and will inhibit the fun

Apart from the fact that the matter still needs to be discussed in parliament, it’s my suspicion that (besides Marie-Louise and her clients) not many people will consider ‘inhibition of the fun’ as the main argument against the escort card.

The idea behind the law is to tackle abuse in the prostitution industry. The government seems to believe that if an escort is registered, she cannot be of become a victim of human trafficking. An interesting assumption, but a wrong one.

Many organizations that have been working for years to improve the situation of prostitutes and combat human trafficking and other forms of coercion and exploitation have spoken out against the introduction of registration. One of the reasons is that they expect that the first ones to register themselves, will in fact be the women that are coerced into this business as they don’t have a choice. An escort card must always be provided, which means that a victim suddenly becomes a legally working prostitute.

As for the women who do this voluntarily, who have a steady job, or are students, who cannot drop everything to visit the UAE like Marie-Louise… for them it would be disastrous.  Should their family, friends, employers or colleagues find out what they do during their free time, it would mean big problems. Not many of those ladies will go to the city hall to get an escort card. They would therefore disappear into the illegal prostitution scene.

The obligation to register is a world upside down. The women who do it voluntarily vanish underground. The ones that are forced into this business get a stamp of legality. Indeed, it’s a real inhibition of fun, the escort card.

 

 

 

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