Female migrants quit factory labour for sex work to survive and provide a better life for relatives back home. Clinging to her bag, she looks like any other bundled-up passer-by in the evening cold. But the year-old Chinese woman from the Zhejiang province, on the country's eastern coast, has been working as a prostitute for the past three years. She arrived in Italy in and, like many of her compatriots, initially found work in small clothes and footwear businesses. With an estimated , Chinese nationals, Italy hosts the largest diaspora community in the European Union. Xiaoyan is gaunt but has a delicate ap pearance, with shoulder-length black hair and a short fringe. She lived in Civitanova Marche, a central city, before heading north. I hardly slept. When orders arrived, I even worked up to 24 hours. I could not cope with that any longer.
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Prostitution in Italy Italian : prostituzione , defined as the exchange of sexual acts for money, is legal, although organized prostitution , whether indoors in brothels or controlled by third parties, is prohibited. Brothels were banned in A euphemism often used to refer to street prostitutes in Italy is Lucciole lit. Prostitution thrived in Italy in the Middle Ages. The city of Venice declared in that brothels were indispensable, and courtesans achieved high social status in Venice, particularly in the 17th century. An decree, by Count Camillo Benso di Cavour to aid the French army which supported the Piedmontese in their fight against Austria, authorized the opening of houses controlled by the state for the exercise of prostitution in Lombardy. On 15 February , the decree was signed into law referred to as Legge Cavour with the enactment of the "Regulations of the Security Service on Prostitution". A further law Legge Crispi , adopted on 29 March , prohibited the selling of food and drinks, and parties, dances, and songs in brothels, and banned such establishments near places of worship, schools, and kindergartens.
“When I see these girls, I often think: ‘My God, I was so lucky’”
On summer afternoons, before the sun sinks behind the pine forests on Rome's western edge, a dozen or so young African women take up their places on either side of a remote commuter road, scanning the traffic for customers. Then, about 6 P. The African women leave, ceding their spots to transvestites from South America who stay until the sun sets, before moving to the safer glare of the city's lights. On another commuter artery to the south of Rome, two young women from Ghana sit perched on a metal traffic barrier until two cars pull up, offering each a ride. Farther down the road stands a year-old Romanian in short shorts and a skimpy T-shirt who says she is getting ready to give up prostitution and go back home. I'm going to get married and then I'll be O. In the last 10 years, street prostitution in Italy has undergone a sea change: once the last resort of desperate Italian women, it is now a reflection of the shifting demographics of a country that used to see very few foreigners, except tourists. And although the volume of immigration -- legal and illegal -- into Italy is still lower than in many other European countries, foreign prostitutes are a visible reminder that this country, once an exporter of emigrants, now has to make room for newcomers -- including those who earn a living on the edges of society. There is more to the issue of foreign prostitution than the displacement of Italian prostitutes, most of whom -- with the exception of drug addicts -- have now retreated to apartments and massage or sun-tanning parlors. Prostitution is not a crime in Italy, but aiding, abetting and exploiting prostitutes is, and according to recent statistics, such criminal activity is increasing.
Near the Garibaldi station in Naples, on the Via Galileo Ferraris, is a church with a cross illuminated in bright neon. Most are in their 40s, and some in their 50s. They are discreet, silent and holding cheap leather clutch bags. One is dressed in a prim shirt and trousers, with thick black-rimmed glasses, looking like a student on the town in search of a cheap eat. We pass the HQ of Italian energy company Enel. A long brick wall and an entrance gate, where a smart car is parked. Inside is a blonde transexual looking at herself in the rear-view mirror. Short, with curly brown hair, she speaks Romanian with an Italian accent and, at first glance, would pass for a typical Moldavian housewife.