Street prostitution is not allowed in the Netherlands. It is only allowed at specially designated red light zones for street prostitution. Utrecht’s ´red light´working street is on the Europalaan. On the street (in a defined zone), you make contact with clients who are driving around. Before you enter the car, you make arrangements with the client about your price and services. If you and the client agree, the two of you will drive (in his car) to the designated zone for work.
A Belle ‘sitting room’ or shelter is located at the ´red light´working street. There, you can go for coffee, tea or orange juice and there´s a shower and toilet. Items are sold at the bar, such as condoms, toiletries, cigarettes, food and drinks, among others. This is where you can have a quiet break and prepare yourself for your work.
The red light zone is open daily between 7.00 pm until 2.00 am. The Belle sitting room is open between 7.30 pm until 1.30 am. A doctor is available on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 7.30 and 11.00 pm. The doctor specialises in sex work related health issues, can perform an STD screening, can provide information about contraception and hepatitis B vaccinations.
A permit is required in order to work at the ´red light´working street. You can request an application at the gemeente (municipality) via phone number 14030. It’s also possible to fill in a request form at the Belle sitting room at the ´red light´working street.
Then, you’ll need tot do an interview with a staff member from Public Health Services (municipality) and a Belle social worker. Your permit is valid for one year, after which there will be another interview to renew your permit.
Women from Utrecht are given priority when applying for a permit. At this point, the waiting list is closed for women from outside the Utrecht area.
The Utrecht city council have decided to close the´red light´working street on June 30th, 2021.
For more information, see the Utrecht municipality website.