“Do we really want to raise our children in the belief that they have the right to buy women for sex? Won’t we teach them [instead] to have mutually satisfying and consensual sexual relationships? Won’t we teach them that women must be respected and not paid for?” – “Heaven”, sexual abuse survivor, exploited in a brothel from age 14

Clip_13Right now, Italian lawmakers are discussing bills that would undermine efforts to reduce sex trafficking and exploitation, make things worse for people in prostitution and violate their human rights.

Parliament is seriously considering legislation to decriminalize pimping and brothel-keeping; create legal “red light areas”; criminalize those selling sex outside of these areas; and require public registration and exorbitant fees for people in prostitution (Bill No. 1201, the ‘Spilabotte Bill’).

Alarmingly, it also proposes secondary school lessons for young men and boys on how to “safely” use people in prostitution — essentially teaching young people that it is ‘ok’ to buy sexual access to another person if you have the money for it, and normalizing the objectification of women and girls.

Essentially, the bill would stigmatize people in prostitution, normalize exploitation, and allow the Italian government to promote and profit from trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

In Italy, the vast majority of those in prostitution are women and girls, primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds and poorer countries. Many have been trafficked, and they are constantly exposed to serious safety and health risks.

Please join Resistenza Femminista and IROKO in calling on the Italian government to #ListenToSurvivors and reject the Spilabotte Bill and similar proposals. Rather than criminalizing people in prostitution and profiting from their exploitation, the government should enact legislation that protects their human rights and reduces exploitation in the commercial sex industry.