New Belgian Law Allows Pimps To File Gov’t Complaint If Hookers Refuse Sex With Clients

New Belgian Law Allows Pimps To File Gov’t Complaint If Hookers Refuse Sex With Clients

By John Oyewale

A new Belgian law passed earlier this month allows the government to mediate if employers of sex workers or the sex workers themselves complain that the sex workers refuse a client or a sexual act more than 10 times in six months.

The law makes the provision, among others, that “[i]f a sex worker exercises the right to refuse more than ten times in a six-month period, the sex worker or the employer may seek the intervention of a governmental mediation service,” according to a May 3 press release by UTSOPI, the Belgian Union of Sex Workers.

The Belgian parliament approved the new labor law for sex workers shortly after midnight May 3, with 93 yeas, zero nays and 33 abstentions,  following two years of intense lobbying from sex work unionists, UTSOPI says in the press release.

The law provides a legal framework for sex work, enabling sex workers “to work under an employment contract, thus gaining access to social security: pension, unemployment, health insurance, family benefits, annual vacation, [and] maternity leave,” according to the press release. The law also ensures “sex workers are protected against job-related risks and conditions are imposed on employers.”

The law applies only to sex workers contracted to work for a sex work employer, the press release reads. The sex worker’s contract would not indicate sex work due to concerns about loss of anonymity and a halt in career mobility but rather will be similar to contracts signed by hotel, restaurant and cafe staff.

Employers must be registered and not have been convicted of human trafficking, abuse of prostitution, voyeurism and murder among other offenses, the union’s press release reveals. (RELATED: Feds Bust Sprawling Prostitution Ring Allegedly Serving Politicians, Military Officers)

Belgium decriminalized sex work in March 2022 but did not have a labor law regarding sex work until May 3. The new law, UTSOPI says in the press release, was a “historic step in the battle for sex workers’ rights” and — according to  a separate release by UTSOPI — “an extraordinary success and another milestone in the fight for equal rights for sex workers.”

The law was a “world first,” and of extraordinary importance, UTSOPI spokesperson Daan Bauwens told The Brussels Times. It gets Belgium to “set aside certain objections and moral issues for a realistic approach to sex work, to give rights and protection to workers,” Bauwens reportedly added.

“Now that the labor law has been voted, the organization is focusing on the protection of undocumented sex workers and large-scale sensitization so that sex workers recognize situations of exploitation and know where to turn,” the union says in the second press release.

Some voices have flayed the law. “There is little chance this will (actually) favour women,” Andrea Heinz, self-described in her Twitter bio as a prostitute-turned-anti-prostitution activist, tweeted. “Under legalization/full-decrim, pimps become “managers” with the backing of the state to further entrench and maintain their power. Pimps see women they sell as products, not people deserving of full dignity & respect.”

“And ‘government mediator’…??! Wtf is that?” Heinz added.


For your convenience, you may leave commments below using Disqus. If Disqus is not appearing for you, please disable AdBlock to leave a comment.