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Asscher Moderates Glorification of Wallen

November 9, 2011

By Linda Meijvis

AMSTERDAM –Amsterdam will adjust advertisements promoting The Wallen, the city’s red light district,reports the website of the Provincial Government.

“For years I’ve been pleading for a fairer image of the Red Light district,” Amsterdam alderman Lodewijk Asscher said. “This includes that the municipality does not advertise it.”

On some municipality-owned websites, including Iamsterdam.com, the Red Light district is portrayed as “very exciting.”

However, the district also has a darker side, involving human trafficking. Diederik Boomsma from the CDA party said that “Research has shown that 50 to 80% of the women are not working here on a voluntary basis.”

Asscher wants a more balanced image of the Red Light district, in which the area’s problems are also portrayed. Removing the district completely is not necessary according to Asscher, as “the area remains a historical part of town with a lot of little old streets, beautiful facades and elegant squares.”

In the coming weeks, the municipality will discuss the one-sided information available online with the organizations behind Amsterdam Partners, public-private partnership established in 2004. The organization connects regional municipalities and promotional institutes, aiming to promote and improve the image of Amsterdam on an international level.

Last year, Asscher was also in the news about the Red Light district and argued for increasing of the minimum age of the prostitutes working in the area from 18 to 23.

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