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The city of Eindhoven is giving out credits, dubbed "street miles", in return for good behaviour. The points can then be exchanged for free designer clothes or furniture, provided the prostitutes take up an offer by the city council to pursue a career change and a safer lifestyle.
Veronique Beurskens of Eindhoven council, who is leading a drive to rid the city of street prostitution, said that the idea was to encourage prostitutes to break free of the trade once and for all. She said: "For every step they take to get out of their trade, they'll get vouchers that they can cash in to go shopping. However, the idea has been criticised by the Dutch media who have dubbed it the 'whore miles' scheme.
Some prostitutes are also sceptical of the concept saying that some sex workers simply may not want to move on to something else and would find it difficult to change to a nine-to-five job after working in the industry.
Eindhoven's designated sex work zone is due to close by Last year, Amsterdam began shutting down part of its red light district and the city is buying up many buildings currently housing the sex trade, with the intention of closing down the windows. However, Eindhoven is unique in pioneering material incentives to tempt women into considering an alternative path to prostitution.
The city is also planning to fund assertiveness classes top help prostitutes sever ties with their pimps and is offering workshops, advice and courses on how to find a new job. Another unusual idea the council are looking at is the creation of a fashion label conceived by the prostitutes themselves, a project which has already started in Amsterdam.