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Hookers help out in Murcia street clean-up

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Down-and-dirty: Prostitutes cleaned up Murcia's 'Transport City' to protest new bylaw. Photo: PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP
11:19 CEST+02:00
Prostitutes in the city of Murcia took to the streets on Sunday alongside nuns and volunteers to clean up the area where they work.

The move was designed to draw attention to new legislation that they claim could harm their business, according to a report in La Opinión de Murcia.

The vice-president of the Sex Workers' Support Committee claimed that a proposed bylaw to combat prostitution and sexual exploitation would damage the livelihoods of the women and men who work in the 'Transport City' logistics zone of Murcia.

"We understand that there are places where we can't carry out our business, especially in urban areas," she told the regional daily. "But that's not the case with us out here in Transport City where there are hardly any houses."

"We've spoken with neighbours and local business owners and the headmaster of the local school and they've told us that there's no problem as long as we follow some of the requests that they've made, such as sticking to a timetable and keeping the streets clean."

She added: "That's why we decided to hold a clean-up day. We wanted to show that we aren't a problem for society and that we want to get on well with everyone."

A number of prostitutes joined in the clean-up effort around Transport City, the local school and supermarket, alongside volunteers and members of the Oblatas convent.

The member of the local council responsible for introducing the new bylaw, Nuria Fuentes, stated that although prostitutes consider the legislation to be "discriminatory", it was "not made to persecute the women who work in this profession."

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The Sex Workers' Support Committee has alleged that the new bylaw could force prostitutes to work from home, leading to complaints from neighbours.

"We don't bother anyone here," said the vice-president.

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