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Amsterdam sex workers angry at red light district tours ban

Museum manager Natascha Flipsen of the Red Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution was interviewed in front of a video projection portraying people passing the window of a sex worker in Amsterdam's red light district.
Museum manager Natascha Flipsen of the Red Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution was interviewed in front of a video projection portraying people passing the window of a sex worker in Amsterdam's red light district.(Peter Dejong/Associated Press)

AMSTERDAM — The city of Amsterdam’s latest attempt to rein in the nuisance of over-tourism by banning guided tours of the red light district has run into opposition from some of the people it is intended to protect: sex workers.

The Dutch capital plans to ban such tours, saying they are disrespectful and contribute to congestion in the narrow, canal-side streets where scantily-clad sex workers sit behind windows to attract customers.

The first step in the new policy was taken Monday night in the red light district, with tours banned from 7 p.m.

But sex workers’ union Proud questions whether banning tours will reduce tourist numbers and argues that guides educate visitors and encourage them to behave more respectfully toward the women.

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