Rome's Sex Workers And The Catholic Church Both Oppose Planned Prostitution Zones

03/11/2015 02:34 pm ET | Updated Mar 11, 2015

Rome's government has a new solution for managing its growing sex work industry: If you can't beat it, manage it.

That's how Washington Post Berlin bureau chief Anthony Faiola described the city's new approach to HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski on Wednesday. The experimental plan, which will begin in the spring and could become a model for other parts of the city if deemed successful, will designate zones in Rome's EUR neighborhood to "bring prostitution out of the eyes of the general public where it is now," Faiola said.

"Put it back in a corner and, you know, if there are clients that want to go there, they would go to an area out of the eyeshot of so-called upstanding residents of Rome," Faiola said.

While prostitution is legal in Rome, soliciting and pimping are not. In addition to the designated zones, the plan also includes social workers assigned to work with prostitutes in the area, Faiola explained.

The Catholic Church and many prostitutes are on the same side of the issue -- opposed. Some sex workers in Rome whom Faiola spoke with said designating certain areas may create too much competition or scare away potential clients due to supposed "easier surveillance" by police.

"But when you talk to the Catholic Church, they’re clearly opposed for different reasons," Faiola explained. "They’re opposed on moral grounds, on religious grounds. They believe that essentially what Rome would be doing is becoming the pimp for these prostitutes."

Watch the video to hear more about Rome's plan to create designated zones for prostitutes.

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