The Legalization of Prostitution in the Netherlands

4 April 2015
A history of the legalization process of prostitution in the Netherlands.

This paper reviews the process of legalizing prostitution in the Netherlands. It looks at the history of prostitution in the region, tracing the views of the prohibitionists and the abolitionists, citing the Dutch Morality Act and the Dutch Brothel Act of 1911 and following the development of the regulation of the trade through to the modern day.
“The history of the Netherlands and the mentality shared by both the government and the citizens is a major aspect of the countrys legalization of prostitution. For centuries, Rotterdam, was known as one of the most prominent European ports. With thousands of sailors passing through the Dutch city, the existence of prostitution in the area was uncontrollable. Unlike many countries during the same time, the Dutch government chose to stay out of the sex lives of their citizens and therefore prostitution seemed to exist in a grey area of Dutch society. The open tolerance of prostitution continued until the religious Calvinist revolution in the early 1900’s. This religious upheaval created open debates on the effect of prostitution on the moral standards of society. Two schools of thought emerged in the debate, the prohibitionists and the abolitionists.”
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