After years of controversy, Dominican lawmakers mull red light districts

After years of controversy and the expected opposition of the Catholic Church, the Chamber of Deputies is set to debate legislation to create red light districts in the Dominican Republic, aimed at halting rising prostitution practiced near the country’s historical monuments, the Dominican Today site reports.

The initiative by deputy (opposition PRD- San José de Ocoa) Esther Minyetti stipulates controls in streets with a historical and cultural character, where women offer sexual services daily.

The bill to create the “red zones” would also require that sexual workers carry a card issued by the Public Health Ministry, where it specifies the prostitute’s state of health.

It also commits the government agencies to set policies which lead to the sexual workers’ social reintegration and into the labor force.

The proposed legislation would make the Government responsible for building houses or designate appropriate places to lodge female prostitutes and guarantee their personal security and health.

It notes that sexual workers ply their services next work centers, streets and avenues, where they don’t set a good example for society.

If voted into Law, Minyetti’s legislation would fine the sexual workers who don’t adhere to its norms, an amount of not more than two minimum wages.

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