The Italian Almanac

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street pronstitution

Italian News - January 31

Italian diplomats could not believe their ears when a UN committee on women's rights accused their government of discrimination for failing to allow immigrant women to work the streets as prostitutes.

The criticism centred on a bill being debated by the Italian parliament that would ban street prostitution, but allow people to take cash for sex in the privacy of their own homes. The problem with that, said committee member Glenda Simms, a Jamaican-Canadian, is that many immigrant women "do not have private homes. Is that not discrimination based on ethnicity and race in terms of prostitution laws?"

Italian diplomat Andrea Cavallari said the law is not a bid to reduce prostitution, but rather to end prostitution in areas where women can become victims of other crimes. "Prostitution is legal in Italy," he added. "What's illegal is living off the earnings of a prostitute." The law's framers said they had noted a direct link between trafficking of women from Eastern Europe and other areas and prostitution in public places.