Showing ID at inspection
What is it?
There is a duty of identification in the Netherlands, you have to be able to show a valid and original ID proof. There is a duty to show and not a duty to carry, but in practice that means you have to carry it anyway. You may only be asked for your ID if there is a good reason.
What does it mean for a sex worker?
Did you know that self-employed sex workers were the first self-employed occupational group to get an identification requirement in 2000? (In 2005, all citizens were subject to compulsory identification). We belong to the most controlled target group and police sometimes go over the line with checks ('we're doing it anyway, drag us to court' is what sex workers hear). ID photos were often taken (illegally) or ID numbers manually written down in booklets.
With digitization, things are different. The police can use the duty phone to automatically query all records by reading the MRZ (Machine Readable Zone) code of an ID . Then the NFC chip (Near Field Communication) can be read. This NFC chip displays the biographical and biometric information.
What is in those registers? From various cities around the country, there are noises that sex workers are confronted with the fact that they are sex workers during entirely different checks (such as a traffic stop). Why does any cop need to see this information, and even worse, why report this information? Sex workers have been outed to passenger cars as a result.
What it means for sex workers traveling abroad is unclear, though there are cases of sex workers working in the Netherlands who were stopped at USA customs and sent back based on sex work. Is this info that got into the systems through police checks? Or is our behavior on the Internet (especially social media) already known to entrance?
What can you do?
Wildthing.amsterdam.nl/ken-your-right/ (with thanks to Mischa and Marjan Wijers)