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Jan Visser

Jan Visser's picture


City / Town: 
Amsterdam and Haltern am See (Germany NRW)

Basic Information

Member type: 
(ex)Sex Worker: 
I was born on 14 september 1950 in Amsterdam and educated as a sociologist (University of Amsterdam). From 1980 to 2001 I was a senior social researcher and policy advisor at the Mr. A. de Graaf Foundation, which does not exist anymore. This was the Dutch national Institute for Prostitution Issues, an independent foundation, sponsored by the Dutch government to document and analyse the developments in prostitution in all its aspects. We had a number of research projects on many aspects of prostitution, like neighbourhood nuisance, drugs, homosexuality, aids, well-being. The Mr A. de Graaf Foundation was the first organisation who developed a discourse and vocabulary on prostitution as work. In the 80s and 90s the Dutch society and politics agreed to that definition and in 2000 the prostitution business was legalised. Unfortunately we see nowadays a strong tendency towards criminalisation. Thanks to my position I was able to stimulate and facilitate the prostitutes rights movement from its beginning in the 80s. I undertook initiatives and participated on national and international collaboration, like the start of the Dutch prostitutes rights organisation (De Rode Draad), the International Committee for the Prostitutes Rights in 1985. From the start I was not only professionally but also personally a supporter and advocate for prostitute rights. In 1993 I co-started the first European network on Aids and Migrant Prostitutes (TAMPEP, and was the supervisor of the activities until 1998. In July 2000 I finished a two year project, it was a scientific study to chart the current state of affairs in Dutch prostitution. It is a qualitative and quantitative description, commissioned by the Ministry of Justice, to function as a start of the evaluation of legal reform that the Dutch government undertook on October 1st 2000. In 2004 I was a member of the team that set up the Correlation network ( This network is dedicated to improve social inclusion and health of marginalised groups in Europe: drug users, sex workers, youth, migrants. I am responsible for the sex work workgroup. From 2001 till 2006 I was director of De Rode Draad. Until 2012 – when it ceased ti exist - I was a part time administrator for De Rode Draad. I am very happy that in February 2015 a group of sexworkers have set up a new organisation called PROUD. I became a member of the support group SWexpertise. I am excited to be able to continue my contribution to the sexworkers movement Since 2005 I work as an independent consultant on policy issues regarding prostitution and associated aspects. In this capacity I did projects for municipalities on reorganising shop-window prostitution in Eindhoven, Arnhem and Amsterdam. Together with Mechthild Eickel von Madonna (Bochum, Germany) I plan to publish a monthly bilingual (German-Dutch) newsletter.
Sex Worker Rights Connections: 
member SWexpertise NL, support organisation for Proud NL

Public Activism

Media contact: 
Sex Worker Rights Connections: 
member SWexpertise NL, support organisation for Proud NL
Who can view your profile?: 
Anybody (public)

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