Prostitutes who exhibit themselves from behind windows in the narrow alleys in the old city center, has become synonymous with Amsterdam. But maybe not for much longer. The city's Mayor, Job Cohen, has announced plans to clean up Amsterdam's infamous red light district and replace prostitutes' windows with upmarket boutiques.
According to the Mayor the initiative has been taken to tackle abuses in the city's sex industry which has gotten out of control.
"The romantic picture of the area is outdated if you see the abuses in the sex industry and that is why the council has to act," Cohen said at a press conference in Amsterdam Monday 17. December 2007. "We don't want to get rid of prostitution, but we want to cut crime significantly."
The city has decided to raise the minimum age for prostitutes from 18 to 21 and demanded that brothel owners and escort agencies apply for permits.