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10th February

 Updated: A courageous move...

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Mayor of Rome sets up official tolerance zone for sex workers
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in Italy...Street prostitution to be outlawed in Italy

Italy flag Rome authorities have approved plans for a red light zone where prostitution will be officially tolerated from April. Ignazio Marino, the Italian capital's centre-left mayor, gave his blessing on Friday evening to the experiment in the EUR business district south of the city.

The local council there has proposed allowing prostitution in one non-residential area with the aim of reducing the impact of a trade currently conducted on more than 20 streets in the district. If the experiment proves successful, the council wants to establish up to three separate red light zones within the district.

Police will be ordered to impose fines of up to 500 euros on prostitutes caught working outside the permitted area, which will be supervised by health and social workers in a bid to counter exploitation by pimps and traffickers and promote safer sex.

Of course the miserable Church is quick to preach on other people's sexual choices, maybe in an attempt to deflect the spotlight away from its own sexual depravity.

Avvenire, the weekly magazine of the Conference of Italian Bishops, called the plan shameful for a city that is the cradle and the heart of Christian humanism.

Giovanni Ramonda, of the Pope John XXIII Community, said Rome would be introducing tolerance zones for the slavery of women. The Catholic group is campaigning for Italy to enact similar legislation to Sweden, where efforts to eliminate prostitution have involved criminalizing clients rather than sex workers.

But the scheme won backing from the council leader in a neighbouring district, who said many parts of the capital faced similar problems with the social side-effects of street prostitution, which is already tolerated in practice in some peripheral parts of the capital. Andrea Catarci said:

It is a courageous move and one the whole city - institutions and associations - needs to get behind.

Update: Courageous in Milan Too

10th February 2015. See  article from

A number of Milan politicians have come out in support of opening a red light district in Italy's financial capital, just days after plans for a prostitution zone were unveiled in Rome. Politicians from both left and right have backed the idea of opening up a red light district.

Carlo Monguzzi, from the ruling Democratic Party (PD), said setting up a prostitution zone could be the only solution to tackling current problems. He wrote on Facebook:

Having a red light district in Milan is a good idea...We must help the women reduced to slavery and forced into prostitution who are beaten to death if they don't do it.

Luigi Pagliuca of the Forza Italia party added:

I would be delighted if the city council would move away from the logic of taboo and moralism, and openly tackle the problem and the situation of the oldest profession in the world.


9th February


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Miserable Russian police raid brothel where all the sex workers are somebody else's wives
Link Here
Russia flag A high-end brothel employing only married women for customers wanting to sleep with another man's wife has been raided by Russian police.

Most of the women's husbands had no idea their wives had been working as prostitutes with rates up to £250 an hour for their services. Prices for services were more than six times higher than a typical outfit with the more normal rate of around £40.

Prospective sex workers were instructed to bring a marriage certificate before they were allowed to work at the specialist brothel which was set across a seven-room apartment.

Officers are now enquiring into the whereabouts of the brothel's madam, known only as Mamma who managed to escape during the raid.  The victims of the police raid will now face just a £20 fine from police but may have a little more explaining to do when they get home to their husbands.


7th February

 Update: Unsafe Legislation...

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Independent overview of Swedish prostitution law finds that it endangers sex workers
Link Here  full story: Sex Work in Sweden...Criminalised purchase of sex
nswp logo Last year the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, RFSU, commissioned a research report to investigate the effects of the Swedish ban on sex purchase, introduced in 1999. RFSU wanted an independent overview of earlier studies to be used as a foundation for a congressional decision in June 2015.

In an interview with DN (Dagens Nyheter), RFSU´s president Kristina Ljungros, says that there is no evidence that the demand has declined to the extent claimed by the 2010 state-led evaluation and that they are worried on the impact the ban has on sex workers.

The report, conducted by Charlotta Holmstrom at Malmo¶ University, concludes that the ban's positive effects have been heavily exaggerated and have led to increased vulnerability for sex workers. Studies that Holmstrom refers to show that the risks involved in selling sex have increased. The fear of being arrested has led to a situation where clients are seeing sex workers at their chosen venue (home or hotel) instead of meeting them at a place chosen by the sex workers. This means that sex workers are forced to meet clients under unsafe circumstances, as they have no idea who they will meet beforehand.

Holmstrom says in the DN article that she was mainly surprised that no one had investigated how sex workers said they were impacted by the law. In the DN article she also says that the expressed ambition of the law was to combine it with social support services, which is something that has not been realised to a sufficient degree. Holmstom said:

Without parallel and wide-spread investments in support services, the law seems to achieve different results than what was initially expected

She also notes that one of the consequences of the law is that the popular support for a prohibition of selling sex seems to have increased, which can be understood as a change in attitudes. The criminalisation of clients has led to an attitude which perceives the person who sells sex as criminal.

Holmstrom is referring to a study where 52% of the respondents says that they think that the selling of sexual services also should be criminalised, compared to 30 % before the ban was introduced. President Kristina Ljungfors of RFSU says to DN that this is a change in attitudes that they really don't want to see, since sex workers is about some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Ljungros says to DN that the report demonstrates a need to revise the legislation:

I understand the intention with the Swedish law. But if it doesn't work, we have to consider other alternatives.

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