No more work permits for prostitutes

POSTED: 08/10/16 2:52 PM

St.maarten – Since the Court in First Instance ordered the labor department on May 27 to process application for work permits from foreign prostitutes and to decide about these applications within three weeks, the department has not issued a single work permit.

“Our position is that we do not give work permits for sex workers,” Minister Emil Lee (labor) said at yesterday’s Council of Ministers press briefing. “We give work permits for exotic dancers and for animeermeisjes (hostesses).”

The department received several applications with labor agreements for sex workers, as prostitutes are euphemistically labeled in the government’s lingo. “These have all been sent back and the applicants have been given the opportunity to reform their applications.”

On Tuesday, the minister met with legal advisors of the clubs and with nine brothel owners. “They had some concerns and we will look at a number of points,” Lee said.

As an example he mentioned employees that are brought in from abroad, the employer pays for the work permit and the employee leaves after a week. “That is an expense the business has to bear,” Lee said. “Due to the nature of their business, the club owners may be faced with a higher turnover and an higher tendency among employees to leave. They asked us to look at a credit system for such cases.”

The minister said that the talks with the club owners had been open and constructive. “We will see what is possible within the scope of the law.”

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