Muskathlon The Netherlands
Prostitution has been legalised in The Netherlands, so most people think it’s ok. It’s something people chose for themselves and it’s an actual legit way to earn money. Reality shows the opposite. Many woman working in prostitution in The Netherlands, were forced to do this work. Lots of them got trafficked into this situation. Most of the woman are from other countries and are forced to do this kind of work, while they have to give all their earned money back to their pimps.
In October 2022, we gathered with about 30 athletes and about 12 people crew to raise awareness for woman who are stuck in forced prostitution and sex trafficking. We did this in collaboration with the Dutch organisation Tot Heil Des Volks (THDV)- Scharlaken Koord. THDV is giving a voice to minorities in The Netherlands, with people stuck in prostitution as one of them.
During this trip, we made a journey through The Netherlands where we got to learn about the current situation. We met survivors (people who got redeemed), heard heartbreaking stories, and we heard about the strategy how the organisation tries to make a change.
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Honestly, I never felt touched by this cause. It’s been something that was far away for me. But while doing this trip, I got touched by the situation. And it’s so confronting as a man, as men are mainly the problem of the current situation.
All of our athletes ran or cycled to raise at least €10,000 euros each. 21, 42, or 63km of running, 120km of mountain biking or 63km of hiking. With this money, the organisation is reaching out to people working in prostitution, they give prevention lessons on high schools and they digitally reach out to sex workers, in order to help them to get out.
After this trip, I was so touched that I committed to join again the year after, where we travel from Romania to The Netherlands. We recreate the journey that lots of sex workers make and we bring a new group of participants.
Human trafficking is real and I don’t want to look away.