Prostitutes sex-traffick selves to work at Amsterdam airport

I wonder whether some of these sex workers figure that if they fly in and stay close to the airport and then fly out again they can elude the Rescue Industry? More autonomy than this is hard to imagine, though I suppose some will say the women are forced to fly by their pimps. Cheaper air fares might be credited for helping people avoid exploitation, too, though.

Prostitution Takes Off At Dutch Airport Thanks To Cheap Air Travel

29 Jul 2011, NewsCore,

In Dutch at De Telegraaf as Hoertjes achter douane Schiphol

Amsterdam – With the prospect of duty-free shopping, casino gambling and upscale restaurants, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has always had plenty to offer the weary traveler. However, a new pleasure is on offer to those waiting to board flights, according to De Telegraaf, which reported Friday that a fleet of prostitutes has touched down.

The paper says enterprising hookers are taking advantage of cheap air travel to jet into the bustling Dutch airport from Eastern Europe. Having arrived, they pick up male travelers and typically take them to a handful of budget hotels set up to allow passengers to rest and wash. As soon as they’re finished, the women simply hop back on a plane and fly home. They “can earn lots of money, much more than in their own countries,” the Amsterdam Prostitution Association told Radio Netherlands.

Schiphol Airport has not commented on the development although De Telegraaf said it had confirmed its story with several airport employees. Located a 20-minute drive southwest of Amsterdam, it is the main airport in the Netherlands and is Europe’s fifth largest, with around 45 million passengers passing through each year.

–Laura Agustín, the Naked Anthropologist

19 thoughts on “Prostitutes sex-traffick selves to work at Amsterdam airport

    1. Laura Agustín

      when i started out in the academy, i innocently suggested that migrants were cosmopoliitan and that sex clubs could be imagined as ‘liminal spaces’ and other jazzy pomo tags. i said i couldn’t see why sex and poverty should be excluded from such consideration, by people interested in such things. and how angry such suggestions still make some people!

  1. redpesto

    This reminds me of reading about the phenomenon in the 1980s in the UK where sexworkers in the North of England used to come down to London on the train for the day. For British Rail, now read Ryanair?

  2. Kris

    l think it’s possible they are forced. Perhaps their family members are threatened. Or some pimps join them on their flight to watch if they don’t flee. One of the pimps could be a madam who works as a prostitute herself. Not kidding. lt really works this way.

  3. Arum

    Kris, on my trip from Amsterdam to Bucharest vv some time ago, I noticed several young Romanian women on board, who at bagage pick up did not have too much luggage on them. Yet, they were not accompanied by anybody.

    Another thing is: to my knowledge not too many, if any, budget airlines call at Schiphol. It is true, though, that Tarom, the national Romanian airline is relatively cheap. Still, one should not neglect the fact that De Telegraaf is a notoriously unreliable, sensationalist newspaper. I do not see, for instance, how these women would be able to simply hop back on board without a formal check in, which they can only do by going through customs. Yet, the original Dutch story claims, they don’t.

    In all, I would suggest to take the story with a pinch of salt.

    1. laura agustin Post author

      Passengers on flights from other Schengen countries do not have to ‘go through customs’. They can hang out at the airport, and leave it and go to hotels or wherever and come back after a few hours or a day, check in like everyone else either at a counter or a machine, show a boarding card at the security check and get on another airplane – also without doing more than wave a passport briefly at an official. If you are going to be suspicious every time someone who sells sex makes any move at all in the world, then ok, be suspicious and paranoid and conspiratorial. But there is no inherent reason to doubt people’s ability to do all this and make enough money to make it worthwhile just because they sell sex. That is to act as though women are always vulnerable, liable to be manipulated and coerced all the time. It is a very demeaning stance toward an entire sex.

      Also there are indeed several budget airlines that fly into Schiphol, both from countries east and west of there.

      1. Arum

        Laura, this is rather annoying.

        Let me inform you; not everybody flies around the world as frequently as some other people do. I for one don’t. So I was slightly confused about the goings on at an airport, as I made clear later on in this thread.

        So there’s no need for you to attack me as a mad dog, suggesting all sorts of things I haven’t said or meant or implied. Also, by what I was saying about women on Romanian flights, I was trying to argue, that these women (who might sell sex) showed no sign of coercion, as Kris was implying. Nowhere did I ever say, or mean to say, that they weren’t able to buy tickets on their own.

        I have been an advocate of your work where I could. You’ve insulted me.

        1. Arum

          And as a matter of fact: the idea that sex workers would only use budget airlines seems quite demeaning to me as well. Even to an entire sex, as you would put it.

          I find it such a disgrace the way you talk to me here. It’s absolutely disgusting.

          1. Arum

            And by the way: one does not even need to book budget airlines to have cheap air travel from Eastern Europe to Amsterdam.

            For instance, Sofia-Amsterdam can be done for € 148 by Lufthansa, not what I would call a budget airline.

            Prague-Amsterdam: € 116, Lufthansa.

            Bucharest-Amsterdam: € 202, Austria Airlines.

            Budapest-Amsterdam: € 122, KLM.

            Warszaw-Amsterdam: € 144, Lufthansa.

            All regular airliners. So at least the Telegraaf claim about budget airliners is nonsense. One does not even need them. Nor they do seem to be functioning on these lines.

            And yes, I am very confident, that Eastern European women can figure this out for themselves as well.

            However, De Telegraaf could have checked this themselves. They clearly didn’t. Let’s just hope, they were a bit more careful with the rest of the report…

          2. Arum

            I have checked which would be the cheapest fares between cities like Prague, Bucharest, Sofia and Warszaw on the one hand, and Amsterdam on the other. All of them were by regular airliners (Lufthansa, Austria, KLM), not one of them budget airliners. These do not seem to be functioning between these cities.

            Yet, these fares are quite low (ranging between € 120 and € 200). So maybe you, Laura, are the one, who misinterpreted ‘cheap air fare’ as meaning ‘budget airlines’.

  4. popsiq

    So how do they do that? I’m making an assumption that this is not just a one, or two day ‘business’ trip? Obviously somebody is bringing them in ( a a Dutch destination address for immigration) and helping them set-up shop – for a fee. There must also be some dutch-speaking business agents helping them with their ‘bookings’ and scheduling. Trolling for Johns in the airport is just begging for some intervention from security forces, even in ‘swinging’ Schipol.

    If that is the case, then, all that remains unknown is the price list, and the ‘fees’ charged by the ‘managers’.

    Any traveller would have to be very horny to accompany a new ‘foreign friend’ to a budget hotel near-by for a quick snog – there are a ton of risks in that diversion, getting ‘caught up in the moment’, sleeping-in and missing a flight being among the minor ones..

    1. laura agustin Post author

      See my comment slightly earlier. There is no reason to say someone ‘must be bringing them’. To sell sex in an airport or mall one need not ‘set up shop’ – you need to get better informed about how this business can work! Teenagers with no training at all, all over the world, figure out how to hang out at malls and attract trade, using only themselves and mobile phones. No obvious vulgar ‘trolling’ is necessary.

      By a similar token, many travellers have more hours to kill in between flights than they know what to do with and could well welcome a trip to a nearby airport hotel. Do you imagine the women will have a label advertising them as hookers on their clothes? They will just look like couples exiting together.

  5. William Thirteen

    i’m waiting for the day when these service workers are fulling integrated into the air travel economy. perhaps the airline tries to bump a few passengers from an overbooked flight by offering them vouchers for a later flight & hotel stay ‘with concierge’, or maybe the weary business traveler could pay for their in terminal diversions with their frequent flyer miles, giving a whole new meaning to ‘duty free’…

  6. Arum

    Tonight the Dutch investigative journalism tv show ‘Zembla’ was about the lies and fabrications, common with De Telegraaf, including quite a list of formal complaints and court decisions against this very popular newspaper. The list is rather endless, sometimes with grave consequences.

    One of those fabricated stories: a guy, falsely being accused by De Telegraaf of being the loverboy of a 14 year old mentally retarded girl. Another one about a fashion photographer, falsely being accused by the newspaper of running a BDSM studio in the heart of a mostly muslim quarter in Rotterdam. As a consequence, he got serious threats from muslims, and had to move his studio. Not just that: because of his now spotty reputation he gets less engagements. As it turned out, the lingerie firm, he had a quarrel with about withheld payments, was behind the article. The lingerie compagny owner is a personal friend of the journalist in case. The court had already ruled against De Telegraaf on this matter, but there will be a follow up investigation. Worse: one may safely assume, that, had muslims arsoned the studio, De Telegraaf (which staunchly right wing, even with a murky past during nazi occupation) would have used that for further stirrring up agression against muslims.

    So chances are, as said before, that the story, you’re refering to here, Laura, is just one more fabrication. I would advice you no longer ro refer to stories, originally published by De Telegraaf.

  7. laura agustin Post author

    Apologies if anything I said seemed like an attack – I did not feel insulting and even now do not see how my remarks could sound insulting. Cyber communications are always open to this problem.

    I sometimes use media stories as the departure for my ideas about the subjects covered on this blog. Since I am not a fact-checker for any media source whether low-prestige like De Telegraaf or high-prestige (where mistakes are also common with this subject matter) I don’t vouch for the factual veracity of the news reported. What interests me are the ideas the stories suggest, to reporters and me and commenters.

    As I noted in one of my responses above, I wrote from early on about the mobility and cosmopolitanism of many migrants selling sex in Europe whom I met myself. Since the key concept to the airport story is cost, I have changed the phrase budget airlines to cheap air fares in my own text. The idea of prestige forms no part of my thinking; rather it’s about the feasibility of short-haul flights that can be used by people selling anything. In the past, air fares would have been prohibitive except for people guaranteed to earn high fees during a short stay. I and many people I know, sex workers and other kinds of workers, have benefited by budget air fares. If a more prestigious airline offers a good price, however, we are just as likely to use them.

    About routes into Schiphol: Some sex workers, like many other sorts of travelling workers, go on the road and do ‘tours’ in which they fly from one city to another and then another without always returning to a base or home. The existence of direct flights from certain eastwards cities to Amsterdam is not necessary to prove or disprove this story.

    Again apologies for any ambiguity in my earlier remarks.

  8. Pingback: ESSAYS, RESEARCH PAPER, STATISTICS, ON HUMAN SEX TRAFFICKING, SEX TOURISM, SLAVERY, PROSTITUTION IN COLORADO | The Myth of Sex Trafficking and Sex Slavery, Research, Lies, Facts, Fact Sheet, Truth about Human Trafficking and Prostitution

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