Opinion by Cor Merx: Noblesse oblige (policy for commercial sex workers)

POSTED: 07/27/14 11:08 PM

Below is the reaction from attorney Cor Merx to statements made by Minister of Public Health, social Development and Labor about the new policy for commercial sex workers.

 “Please understand that our (owners of the clubs) level of communications is done by noblesse oblige (as the French used to say: if you have a high position you should handle according to its standards). We do not discuss issues in the media if they are part of the discussion with the authorities (Minister or the Court and other Obliges). It has to do with respect; nothing else.

Age: If that was not a priority, the minister could have answered that question four years ago. We have several witnesses that confirm he never did.

How to look at things is quite different who you are and how your perception is: look at the guidelines for the campaign. Who is right and who is wrong (one-dimensionally or holistic). Nice words for nothing.

It is true. I never was at that meeting because I did not get an invitation. If my client gets an invitation to go to court and the public prosecutor does not invite me I don’t go. I do not want to be one of those not-invited guests as mentioned in the Bible.

Next to it: I decide on my own where to go and where not to go. These meetings were just one-way meetings. As my clients told me: it was a “Take it or leave it” (see the end of the published note in the Landscourant: club owners have no “C” in this issue).

The media is my witness: I invited them for a press conference (last Monday) but I sent a mail to the minister to inform him about it (again: as a courtesy and not to surprise him) because I would go further than my colleague mr. Duncan did in an interview with SXM-news.

Afterwards I spoke with the minister (on Friday) and I agreed to meet and to discuss this issue with him. Nothing suspicious.

I cancelled the meeting with the press telling them I would have a meeting with the minister first. They understood.

Now I am in the papers instead of sitting with the minister. I got punished twice. There is much to do in the Labor Department. The question however is: what is done so far? I could go in details but I don’t do it.

Yes and of course all of my clients (and everyone in the community) is/are aware of “vrouwenhandel” (that is something different, as the minister is all the time talking about: human trafficking) and we all want to fight this for once and forever but not with a labor agreement with a minimum wage in it. Our respect for the girls goes over that amount…….It would be a shame.

The labor contract should refer to vrouwenhandel, not to mensensmokkel (human trafficking). These are quite different articles in the law.

But for that reason: we have to sit and to listen to each other. I am still waiting for my invitation from the minister but not for a discussion in the media.

Again: I do not go in the details about legality or sense or non-sense of the policy. I keep it straight forward.

But if Cornelius has an argument with Cornelius, Cornelius will always win.”

On behalf of my clients,

Cor Merx


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