Lima begins discussions on creation of red light district

Peruvian capital Lima has setup a work group to discuss the creation of a red light district, Mayor Susana Villarán said.

The work group was put together last week and includes representatives from NGO’s, religious organizations and sexual workers, state news agency Andina reported.

The group is planning numerous meetings to discuss the proposal, Villarán said.

“For the first time, they have sat down in a work group the organizations of sexual workers, neighbors from six zones in downtown Lima, the non-governmental organizations and religious organizations,” she said.

The proposal for the district would take up six city blocks in an area to be determined, where sex workers can work in a controlled and more secure environment, Villarán said.

“We are advancing it, and within a little while we will have good news,” she said.

Villarán made the proposal earlier this year after assuming office in January. Her predecessor and presidential candidate Luis Castañeda has been critical of the initiative and said Villarán should “put [the district] in front of her house to see how it works.”

Villarán responded by saying critics of the proposal haven’t given enough thought to the effects of the sex trade on children and its exploitation of youth.

“Have they been concerned about the pain of mothers, whose children are torn away, that don’t know anything from them and that are victims of the [sex] trade? Have they thought of that?” Villarán said.

In addition to eradicating child abuse in the industry, the initiative is also intended to better control drug abuse in areas where prostitution is currently common.

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