No more work, residence permits for exotic dancers on St.Maarten

PHILIPSBURG, St.Maarten (Daily Herald Jan 28th 2016)–Exotic dancers desirous of operating at adult entertainment clubs in St. Maarten will no longer be issued with residence and employment permits to ply their trade in the country. The dancers will instead have to apply for an independent entrepreneurship licence to legally work in St. Maarten.

Justice Minister Richard Gibson told reporters on Wednesday, that in assessing the policy that has to be applied, the court has rendered a decision that based on international law, government can be held as a “conspirator in committing a crime” as far as human slavery is concerned under the current policy.Based on this decision, Gibson said he “automatically and immediately” issued an instruction to the relevant department to not issue any more residence permits to exotic dancers on the request of clubs. He said a meeting had been held with the Labour Department and the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA to apprise them of this development to also request that no more employment permits be issued to clubs for dancers. 

He explained that dancers (entrepreneurs) will have to file for an independent entrepreneur licence from the Department of Economic Affairs. The entrepreneur dancers will then be able to “establish their business” with adult entertainment clubs operating in the country, by “making an agreement” with them or with anyone else.

Gibson made clear that this new procedure is a permanent one that will be put in place for the country. He said the specific “methods” are now being worked out to further come to “a better regulated way of having the industry operate different from how it operated before.”

Labour Minister Emil Lee confirmed that based on his talks in the Council of Ministers, and based on the ruling in the Casablanca case, the Ministry is not to issue any more permits for exotic dancers.

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