Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 13:21 UK

Dutch in red light credit scheme

By Geraldine Coughlan
BBC News, The Hague

Prostitutes in Eindhoven must take part in activities such as workshops

The Dutch city of Eindhoven is to award credit points to street prostitutes in exchange for good behaviour.

Prostitutes with enough points will get street miles from the City Hall which they can use to buy designer clothes and furniture.

In return they must take part in a city plan to help prostitutes find alternative employment.

Dutch cities are starting to close red light districts where street prostitutes operate.

Eindhoven plans to close the zone for street prostitutes by 2011.

The prostitutes' union, the Red Thread, is enthusiastic about the plan to help street prostitutes seek another profession.

With street miles from the City Hall, prostitutes can buy designer clothes and furniture from outlets like the Eindhoven Design Academy and the International School of Design in Cologne.

To earn credit points for street miles, the prostitutes must take part in activities such as workshops where they can learn a range of skills to equip themselves for other work.

The City Hall says the street miles credit system goes far beyond designer clothing and street prostitution and is aimed at combating a combination of social problems.

Country profile: The Netherlands
10 Jul 08 |  Country profiles

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