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De Wallen is the largest and best-known red-light district in Amsterdam and a major tourist attraction. De Wallen is a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred tiny one-room cabins rented by prostitutes who offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights. The area also has a number of sex shops, sex theatres, peep shows, a sex museum, a cannabis museum, and a number of coffee shops that sell marijuana.
De Wallen, together with the prostitution areas Singelgebied and Ruysdaelkade, form the Rosse Buurt (red light areas) of Amsterdam.

Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, with the exception of street prostitution. However, only citizens of the European Union can work legally in the sex industry, since work permits are not issued for prostitution.
While health and social services are available, sex workers are not required to undergo regular health checks. Brothel owners and room operators often require health certificates before employing or leasing rooms.
To counter negative publicity Mariska Majoor, founder of the Prostitution Information Center organized 2 "open days" in 2006 and 2007, allowing visitors access to some window brothels and peep shows and informing them about the working conditions there. Majoor also helped in having the world's first monument to Sex workers installed in the red light district. The bronze statue was unveiled on the Oudekerksplein in front of the Oude Kerk at the open day in March 2007 and shows a woman standing in a doorway

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