PHILIPSBURG–Although Judge Katja Mans urged adult clubs, Government and the Prosecutor’s Office to sit around the table to work on an interim compromise concerning the issuing of work permits for exotic dancers, parties hadn’t reached an agreement up to Thursday, one day ahead of today’s deadline for an agreement.
The Daily Herald understands that correspondence on the issue was sent to a representative of the clubs late Wednesday, but an agreement had not been reached. If no agreement is reached by 2:00pm today, parties will return to court for a decision by the judge on the matter.
To prevent the Government of St. Maarten from being held for an accomplice to human-smuggling it was decided to halt the issuing of work permits for exotic dancers. No new permits have been issued since March 1 and all 63 pending requests for permits have been turned down from that date.
The clubs had said earlier that this prevents them from continuing their operations. The clubs had filed an injunction and an administrative procedure against Government over its move to discontinue the processing of employment and residence permits for exotic dancers, pending the finalisation of a new policy.
The clubs want Government to honour the current (discontinued) policy and process the applications received for permits since December 2015, until the new policy is in place.
The new policy is to be based on the new Criminal Code and on international law and treaties banning human smuggling. The administrative procedure concerns the blanket turning-down of permit requests that were submitted after the discontinuation.
The clubs are concerned that since the discontinuation of the processing of permits four months ago, no mechanism has been put in place for them to bring in female workers in the interim to sustain their operations while the new policy is being ironed out. The situation is stifling their operations and could lead to their closure, the clubs claim.
Source: Daily Herald
No agreement between adult clubs and Govt.