5 of the 12 sex houses in Genk apply for regularization: “We want everything to be done in good conditions for the sex worker and for the client”

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Barely 5 of the original 12 sex exploitations in Genk have submitted an application to the city council to be regularised. These are sex houses such as day hotels where you can book a room per hour or brothels where sex workers offer their services. Since July 1, 2022, Genk has new regulations for sex houses to prevent possible exploitation and nuisance.

Five brothels and day hotels have applied to be recognized in Genk. One has already been refused because the case has been stopped, while another has problems with the environmental permit. “We have no problems that these kinds of exploitations are located on our territory,” explains mayor Wim Dries (CD&V). “But we do want this to take place in good conditions, both for the sex worker and for the client. That is why we want to take strict action if there are abuses.”

Control actions

In Genk, several control actions have already taken place in sex exploitations, which happened in 2017, 2019 and 2021. Among other things, it was examined whether there was human trafficking, drug use or the presence of minors. When an illegal brothel was shut down in the Stalenstraat in Waterschei, the town council had enough.

In the summer of last year, new regulations were drawn up to which sex exploitations must adhere. The cases that have just submitted an application are extensively screened, both administratively and fiscally, but must also provide some practical matters such as washable mattresses, the presence of a responsible person and the necessary alarm buttons.

It is not the intention that they go to another Limburg municipality. So we have to look at this at Limburg level


The Genk regulations are unique in the province and the Limburg public prosecutor’s office hopes that other municipalities will soon adopt them. “Some exploitations will receive a permit, I do notice that they are of good will and want to be in order with the regulations we have introduced,” says mayor Dries. “But if a case is not going well, then we have no choice but to close it. But then it is not the intention that it goes to another Limburg municipality. So we have to look at this at Limburg level.”

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