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Opting-in in de relaxbranche, een legitieme oplossing?

Tijdschrift Recht der Werkelijkheid, Aflevering 1 2015
Trefwoorden prostitution, lifting of the ban on brothels, opting-in, labour rights, deliberative governance, legitimacy
Auteurs Elise Ketelaars
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2000 the Netherlands has lifted the ban on brothels. By legalizing sex work the Dutch government aimed to increase the opportunities to regulate this sector and to improve the social position of sex workers. This article examines to what extent the application of a particular fiscal regulation known as ‘opting-in’ to certain branches of the Dutch prostitution industry is legitimate from a socio legal perspective. It takes into account both the efficacy of the regulation with an eye on achieving the goals which were formulated in 2000 and the experiences of sex workers with this fiscal construction. Aubert’s theory regarding the influence of social factors on the observance of regulations is used to explain the discrepancy between the high degree of acceptance of the regulation amongst sex workers and the limited effectiveness with regard to the improvement of their labour rights.


Elise Ketelaars
Elise Ketelaars is een masterstudent Legal Research aan de Universiteit Utrecht. Haar onderzoek richt zich op mensenrechten en gender.

    Like surfers, legislators … who wish to change everyday social norms must wait for signs of a rising cultural support, catching it at just the right time... (Kagan and Skolnick 1993: 85) The empirical study of the relation between the way a law comes into being and its effectiveness in practice is an underdeveloped subject in the sociology of law. In this article this relation is studied with respect to smoking bans in the Netherlands. The focus is on private companies in general, with special attention for Dutch cafés, bars, hotels and restaurants (where such a ban was recently introduced). Dutch smoking bans in private establishments were only enacted after the government was convinced of public support and after a period of selfregulation. This proved to be a good preparation. The general picture of the relation between the emergence and the effectiveness of smoking bans in Dutch hotels, restaurants etc. is much the same. However, there is one sector - bars, pubs and the like – in which the smoking ban has encountered problems. In this sector a fourth of the establishments refuse to comply. A question addressed in this article is whether the legislator acted too precipitously with respect to this sector. This is obviously the case: there is less public support for smoking bans in such establishments and there had not been a preparatory period of selfregulation.


Anita Böcker
Anita Böcker werkt bij het Instituut voor Rechtssociologie en het Centrum voor Migratierecht van de juridische faculteit van de Radboud Universteit Nijmegen. Zij doet onder meer onderzoek naar de regulering van migratie en de rechtspositie en maatschappelijke positie van immigranten.
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