The European Union agency based in The Hague, Eurojust, has expressed concern over a proposal to move Amsterdam’s largest brothel closer to their headquarters. The “megabrothel,” known as Yab Yum, was closed down in 2008 but its owners have recently announced plans to reopen it and transfer it to a new location in the Dutch capital.

The move has caused unease among officials at Eurojust who fear that the brothel’s proximity could lead to an increase in human trafficking and other criminal activities linked to the sex trade. As an agency tasked with coordinating cross-border investigations into serious crimes such as terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime, Eurojust is acutely aware of the risks that such activities present.

The concerns have been outlined in a letter sent by the head of Eurojust, Ladislav Hamran, to the Dutch justice minister, Ferd Grapperhaus. The letter warns that the relocation of the Yab Yum brothel could adversely affect Eurojust’s work and reputation, especially if it becomes associated with criminality.

Hamran described the sex trade as “one of the most significant forms of organized crime” and said that Eurojust was particularly concerned about the exploitation of vulnerable women and girls. He argued that the presence of Yab Yum in close proximity to Eurojust’s headquarters could undermine the agency’s credibility and hinder its ability to operate effectively.

The Yab Yum brothel, which first opened in 1977, was one of Amsterdam’s most famous landmarks and a popular destination for wealthy clients. Its reopening has been touted as a major event in the city’s red-light district and has prompted intense media coverage.

However, its planned location, just a few miles from Eurojust’s headquarters, has sparked controversy and opposition from local residents and campaigners. They argue that the sex trade has no place in a modern European city and that the Yab Yum brothel’s presence would be a stain on Amsterdam’s reputation.

The debate over the proposed relocation has also highlighted wider issues around the sex trade and the regulation of prostitution in the Netherlands. Although prostitution is legal in the country, the industry is heavily regulated and has been subject to ongoing scrutiny and debate.

Critics argue that the legal framework does not adequately protect sex workers or tackle the root causes of exploitation and trafficking. They point to evidence that many women working in the industry are subject to abuse, coercion, and exploitation, and that criminal gangs are heavily involved in the trade.

Supporters of legal prostitution argue that it provides a safer environment for sex workers and can help to reduce the incidence of harm and illegal activities associated with the black market sex trade. They also argue that it is a matter of individual freedom and choice.

The debate over the Yab Yum brothel’s relocation has highlighted the complex and sensitive issues around the sex trade and the need for effective policies and regulations to manage it. It has also demonstrated the risks and challenges faced by law enforcement agencies and other organizations tasked with tackling the criminal activities associated with the sex trade.

As the debate continues, Eurojust’s concerns about the potential impact on its work and reputation serve as a reminder of the importance of addressing the risks and harm associated with the sex trade in a holistic and collaborative way. By working together, policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders can help to ensure that vulnerable people are protected from exploitation and that criminal activities are tackled effectively.