Gert-Jan Segers his pimp ban
Tuesday is anti-prostitution day here in Holland, ever since Jojanneke van den Berge started broadcasting her anti-prostitution documentary here on TV on that day. And of course completely by coincidence, also on this day Gert-Jan Segers from the ChristenUnie (Evangelic Christian political party) is doing a new attempt to get a ‘pimp ban’.
The ‘pimp ban’ was lifted in 2000 together with the brothel ban, making brothels legal and therefore offering a safe and legal workplace for sex workers, and only bad pimps were made punishable with the human trafficking law. 

In short, what Gert-Jan Segers is asking for, already exists. This law is called the human trafficking law, and is found under the article 273f. All the things that you would expect, or would want to be illegal and punishable (such as beating prostitutes with a bat to make them work for you), are already covered under that law.
And that’s exactly the same conclusion also Minister Opstelen came to about a year ago, when he already denied the previous attempt of Gert-Jan Segers to create a pimp ban. According to Minister Opstelten pimps already can be handled with the current human trafficking legislation.
Opstelten also pointed out last year that the Justice department is making a lot of progress in the fight against human trafficking, since the number of convictions have never been higher before.

So why is Gert-Jan Segers trying again to do the same thing he failed to do a year ago? Well, because now of course there’s Jojanneke’s program, in which at the beginning of each episode they falsely state that pimping is legal here in Holland. Jojanneke says that it is 'legal in Holland to put a woman behind the window when you’re a pimp, as long as she agrees with it of course'.
But in reality that’s not true at all. After all, when a pimp 'puts a woman behind the window', than he's deliberately taking advantage of her, which is called exploitation and falls under the human trafficking law under article 273f. So no, it's not legal to put a woman behind the window as a pimp, even stronger, repeatedly men have been convicted for this.

In Gert-Jan Seger his defense he's using the argument that now often it's difficult to find evidence and prove in court that someone is doing this. But than again, a new law criminalizing something which is already illegal and criminal, doesn't create new evidence or new tools. They're just the same tools en evidence in a new law.
A new law doesn't magically create new evidence in a case. It doesn't magically all of the sudden 'prove' that someone was exploited, forced or abused. If the human trafficking law can't do this, this new pimp ban also won't be able to do this, since the same problem still exists: lack of evidence. There is no law that can create new evidence.

So what is Gert-Jan Segers really after? It's clear it's not really was he claiming to be after, coercion, exploitation and abuse of women in prostitution. After all, they are all already punishable under the human trafficking law. But than again, Gert-Jan Segers keeps using the specific word 'pimp'. And like I've explained here before, a pimp is not by definition the same thing as the bad pimp people have in mind when they think about Saban B, which for the law is called a human trafficker. A pimp doesn't always exploit, abuse or coerce someone. A pimp is nothing more than a person the prostitute is working for. In short, anyone who profits from a prostitute, including brothel owners, escort agencies, etc. is a pimp. Not every pimp is bad, en those that are, are called human traffickers. So it could be that Gert-Jan Segers is attempting to criminalize legal brothels under the 'pimp ban', selling it as a 'pimp ban', while in fact just being nothing more than a tool to criminalize anyone that offers prostitutes work or a place to work in.

The other option could be, that Gert-Jan Segers is not after the brothels (after all, they have a permit), and he's more after other people. People like my boyfriend, a sex worker her husband, or anyone else that indirectly profits from prostitution, because they share a house hold together. You could argue that any of those people are also 'pimps', since they also profit from prostitution. But than again, which person does not profit in one way or another from his or her partner's income? In a shared household it's almost impossible to keep them separate.
And it looks like Gert-Jan Segers is aiming for this option, criminalizing not just traffickers (bad pimps), but also partners of sex workers or anyone else that profits from our income, with this new 'pimp ban'. In short, he's trying to make our lives more difficult in an attempt to make us quit our job, since all of our boyfriends, husbands, heck even my mother could get arrested since she definitely profits from prostitution even though she doesn't even know it!

So no! This new law is not a good idea. Not because I like pimps, but simply because I am trying to protect any loved ones that might be criminalized with this law. Exploitation, coercion, abuse, these are all things that are already illegal and criminal. Making a new law won't change that, it can't get 'extra' illegal or criminal or something. And it also doesn't provide any new tools, since it is already illegal. And neither does it create new evidence. 
The only thing this new law will do, is criminalize people that are not supposed to be criminals. I'm not sure exactly which ones he's after, but it's either the brothels or (my guess) our loved ones, in an attempt to bring prostitution down to it's knees. And I will not let that happen, since those people aren't pimps! That's my fucking family! And you don't fucking touch my family or anyone else that I love! It's my money, I decide what I do with it, and not you, fucking Gert-Jan Segers!

And it's also with law proposals like these, that it becomes clear who is in favor of, and who is against prostitution. Any person that is really willing to fight coercion, exploitation and abuse in prostitution, knows these things are already illegal and punishable, and a new law isn't going to change that. This means that whoever supports this law, doesn't really care about that, they have a hidden agenda, which is to ban prostitution. It's no surprise that Gert-Jan Segers came up with this idea, after all, his whole political party has always been against prostitution. He can try to pretend his morals aren't getting in the way, but it's super obvious that this is the case, and is even the driving force for him to take on the subject of prostitution.
Bur what you can really see good right now, is who is against prostitution. Any person that supports this law, like for example Jojanneke van den Berge, shows with her support to this idea, that she's not really against trafficking as much as she is just purely against prostitution on itself. And of course the EO themselves fully support this idea, as well as all of it's members, all people against prostitution. Leo van Doesburg is another one of those christian moral crusaders who's against prostitution which supports this idea. Also Chris Sent (from CKM/Fier Fryslan) is in favor of this law, even though she still pretends to be not against prostitution (don't worry Chris, I know you blocked me on Twitter for a reason). PVDA Amsterdam is in favor of this law (obviously has nothing to do with their intention to reduce the Red Light District). In fact, anyone that supports this plan is either against prostitution, or extremely un-knowledgeable about prostitution, which is usually more the case for the readers of the Viva forum and other uninformed citizens.

Segers is hoping everybody will support the plan, because everybody is against pimps. He knows 99% of the people don't know the difference between a pimp and a trafficker, and is abusing this in his advantage to strike hard into prostitution. He knows very well what he's doing, and he's carefully planned this thing out together with the EO and Jojanneke.
After all, tonight's TV show of Jojanneke is about pimps. But even before one single image has been broadcasted, Gert-Jan Segers is already jumping ahead. I knew that when Jojanneke was coming with her TV show, this was an attempt of Christian and rescue organizations to attack prostitution again. It was so obvious, the negative way they present prostitution was only to justify a law in the making, and now their plans have revealed itself. Make no mistake, Jojanneke her program was a well coordinated attack by the ChristenUnie, who frequently uses its EO broadcast channel in an attempt to get their ways.
I hope now it has become obvious that Jojanneke her TV show is far from objective, it was a set-up for Gert-Jan Segers to do another attack on prostitution using a ‘pimp ban’ as a disguise. Pimps however are already criminals if they do any of the things Gert-Jan Segers describes, due to the human trafficking law, so he’s really after something else.
His last attempt last year failed, now with Jojanneke her program he’s doing a second attempt to attack prostitution. He pretends to care about the prostitutes, but in reality only cares about his religion and his own morals.

I mean, isn’t it super surprising that exactly when Jojanneke her show is being broadcasted, just at that moment he comes up with this? You can’t tell me this wasn’t planned. The episode to which he’s actually referring hasn’t even aired yet, but will be aired tonight. Segers is using an episode that will be aired tonight as a propaganda tool to pass this new law. He using the push this program will give him, the media exposure, the attention, the extra push he needs to pass this law. Don't let this law pass, since it doesn't criminalize anything that isn't criminal already, accept the people we don't want to become criminals, like my brothel owner or my loved ones. This law is no attack on the abuses in prostitution, it's an attack on prostitution itself below the belt.

(Update 22/01/2015 17:38: In the original article it was mentioned incorrectly that the pimp ban was lifted already in 1982/1983. This however turned out to be not correct after a tip from CKM on Twitter. In 1982/1983 there was a law proposal to lift the pimp ban, but this proposal was withdrawn in 1993, and finally got lifted in 2000 together with the brothel ban. With thanks to CKM for this correction).

Dutch version
1 Response
  1. Korhomme Says:

    Sounds very much like a 'moral panic'.


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    Romanian prostitute working in the Red Light District in Amsterdam (De Wallen), speaking out for the truth behind prostitution. Blogging about prostitution, human trafficking, forced prostitution, politics and all the myths surrounding it. Member of PROUD, the Dutch union of sex workers.