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The complaint of the Christian actress on Twitter reflects the tiredness of many with media which intentionally ignore matters of faith. The Belgian city of Ostend will convert an abandoned hangar into a brothel. Last week the municipality of Ostend granted permission to a project developer to convert an abandoned hangar in the port of the city into a brothel. Mayor Johan Vande Lannotte defends the decision by stating this will improve the situation of the prostitutes and abuses will be limited.
Local action groups regret the decision — they had hoped the building would be converted into a maritime museum. Prostitution is legal in Belgium as long as the people involved are aged over Promoting sexual services - including pimping — is forbidden.
At least in theory, for in practice most activities are tolerated. There are no official statistics, but is estimated that between Especially in the last decades there has been a strong increase of sex workers, mainly due to human trafficking.
By controlling prostitution, the government hopes to limit the influx of foreign prostitutes. A nightclub in a neighbouring building recently applied for a permission to transform its building into a large brothel too. In order to exclude pimping, rooms in the brothels are only rented out directly to the women. The prostitution area of Antwerp is promoted by officials as an example of safe prostitution.
However, although officialy denied, there is an immense problem of women trafficked from mainly Eastern Europe and forced into prostitution. It is questionable whether this can be really considered as a relocation — prostitution in Hazegras-neighbourhood has been declining over the years and there only 8 establishments left, far less than the places available in the new building.