PROSTITUTES in Spain have hit out against a planned crackdown on streetwalking, vowing to demonstrate in central Madrid to defend their livelihoods.
The prostitutes’ rights group Hetaira said it would rally on Saturday against plans to fine prostitutes and those who pick them up on the street, fearing it will force them to work in dangerous conditions.
Madrid city hall has drawn up proposals to fine those who pick up prostitutes in the street, while the national government plans to fine those offering or soliciting sex near schools or other children’s areas.
According to the government’s draft unveiled in November, the national law would make offering or soliciting sex in prohibited areas punishable by a fine of between 1,000 and 30,000 euros.
The new norms proposed in Madrid would fine a person caught soliciting sex in public up to 750 euros, or up to 3,000 euros if it is done near schools or shopping centres.
Hetaira called a demonstration on Saturday afternoon at the foot of Calle Montera, a street next to Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square where prostitutes habitually stand waiting for clients.
Sex workers there will protest to demand that authorities allocate places where those who choose to work as prostitutes can do so in safety.
Prostitution is neither illegal nor regulated nationwide in Spain.
A parliamentary report in 2007 estimated there were 400,000 prostitutes working in the country