Antwerp clamps down on unsafe sex

The city of Antwerp is making changes to local by-laws and is introducing a ban on the promotion or offering of unsafe sex.  New by-laws will apply to all brothels outside the prostitution tolerance zone in the Schipperskwartier north of the city centre near the old docks.

Police and aid workers have noted a distinct rise in demand for unsafe sex in recent months.  Supply is also on the up in response.  Scientific research confirms the rise: unsafe sex also means higher rates of STIs.  The new ban only becomes operational next September.

Also new in Antwerp: people loitering around sex establishments will be spoken to and queries will be raised about whether they are disturbing public order.  Touting for sex or barring access to streets will be countered. Cash changing hands and making price agreements in public will fall under the by-laws too.

The new by-laws will also clearly set out which conditions bordellos must meet.  More checks will be carried out on hygiene and safety.  The police also intend to gain a clearer picture of who is at work and what their working conditions are.  It’s only one of a set of the measures to combat people-trafficking.

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