Groningen to help sex workers left jobless, many looking for new jobs

The municipality of Groningen wants to help sex workers who can no longer work because of social distancing measures in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Many sex workers in the region are looking for other jobs temporarily, aid agencies for sex workers said to RTV Noord.

Sex workers in the city of Groningen currently do not have to pay rent for the window brothels where they work, but they also don’t have any income. Some sex workers can claim assistance from the national government’s scheme for self-employed persons, but not all sex workers are registered as self-employed. The municipality of Groningen is lobbying for the women who are not covered by these measures.

“We are working on measures,” alderman Roland van der Schaaf said to the broadcaster. Due to the Groningen prostitution policy, all sex workers must have a permit. So the municipality has a relatively good view of the sector.

According to Evert Sulman of Overweghuis, an aid agency for sex workers and women who want to leave prostitution, many sex workers are looking for other work. “Actually, that’s the first question they ask because they’ve lost their income.” He posted an appeal on social media looking for temporary work for these women. “There were reactions from different regions,” he said to the broadcaster.