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Prague umbrella procession condemns violence against prostitutes

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Prague, Dec 17 (CTK) – A procession of about 20 women with red umbrellas crossed the centre of Prague Saturday, organised by the Bliss without a Risk (R-R) NGO and aimed to highlight the problem of violence in sexbusiness and mark December 17 as the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.
R-R focuses on helping sex workers and preventing sexually transferable diseases.
Eva Musilova, from R-R, told CTK that the introduction of toleration zones, such as parts of streets or enclosed areas, would enhance sex workers’ safety.
R-R says the towns’ decrees banning prostitution in selected places have negatively afflicted the safety of sex workers.
The clients require unprotected sex, refuse to pay and often attack sex workers, with rapes being no exception. The victims would not report the violence to the police in fear of being fined for offering sex in banned areas, R-R says.
In addition, sex workers complain about a bad approach and violent conduct of some police officers.
Toleration zones, where street prostitution is permitted and sex services are provided according to certain rules, have proved good in many Western towns. In Germany and the Netherlands, for example, violence dropped by 80 percent, according to foreign sources, Musilova said.
The R-R NGO was established some 20 years ago. It provides mainly health and street services. It completes about 3,000 HIV tests a year, 2,300 tests for syphilis and more than 1,000 checkups related to other sexually transferable diseases.
R-R operates in 12 of the Czech Republic’s 14 regions. It has centres in Prague, Brno and the south Bohemian centre Ceske Budejovice, and also operates a mobile out-patient office.

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