Saturday, December 16, 2000

Bruce Johnston
in Rome

Jesuit call for state brothels

A JESUIT journal that is vetted by the Vatican has called for the opening of state-regulated brothels.

In its new issue, the Italian magazine Civilta Cattolica argued that, while prostitution was degrading to all involved, it was a reality that would never be eradicated.

The journal stated that the law should accept this and remove prostitution to "more protected places than the street". Italy abolished state-controlled brothels 40 years ago. Since then prostitution had undergone a complete change for the worse, the journal said.

The trade was now dominated by foreign women in "totally degrading conditions" which in some instances approached "downright slavery". Among the Albanian sex community, the average age was now 14 or 15.

Civilita Cattolica called for easily available medical check-ups; a crackdown on organised criminals responsible for prostitution; and "measures in favour of those who want to leave that world".

The journal article has triggered a bitter debate. Katia Bellilo, Italy's Left-wing Minister for Equal Opportunies, said: "Entering the sex market can be a matter of choice, and should therefore be respected." Alessandra Mussolini, grand-daughter of the former dictator, replied that prostitutes were "all slaves," and "often forced" to sell their bodies.

[World 2000] [News by region] [News by topic]

Created: December 20, 2000
Last modified: December 20, 2000
CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710
Email: csis@walnet.org