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Dutch could ban visits to prostitutes

Feb. 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Some lawmakers in the Netherlands say they are thinking about pushing for legislation to make prostitution illegal in the country.

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.

Brothels in the Netherlands can apply to be officially licensed by the government, which is planning to raise to 21 the age at which women can become prostitutes.

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