Proposal to zone prostitution in Rome's EUR district

Plan would see prostitution tolerated and monitored in certain areas of EUR

The city parliament and residents of south Rome district EUR are being presented with a so-called "zoning" plan which would see prostitution tolerated in three “islands” of the locality.

The plan would mean that in these areas authorities would monitor and offer social services to prostitutes, effectively turning a blind eye to the criminal aspect of the business, while operating a "zero tolerance" policy against prostitution in the rest of EUR. The areas involved in the plan include Viale Europa, Viale America, Largo del Ciclismo, Piazza Barcellona, Viale dell'Agricoltura, Viale dell'Industria, Via dell'Oceano Pacifico, Via Pontina near Spinaceto, Piazzale Dino Viola, Via Ardeatina/S. Palomba, Via di Frigoria/Castel Romano, and Via Laurentina 20km.

The proposal, which is the idea of the president of the EUR district Andrea Santoro, is currently being discussed by representatives from the mayor's office and the department of equal opportunites and social policy, as well as police and health authorities. "We estimate that 50 per cent of the EUR area is affected by prostitution – said Santoro – we want to drastically reduce this to two or three areas, close to towns, but far away from homes."

Santoro is a member of the centre-left Partita Democratica (PD), the same party as Rome mayor Ignazio Marino, to whom he hopes to present the finished proposal by the end of this year.

The project is called Michela after the Romanian prostitute who, in 2012, suffered third-degree burns on 52 per cent of her body after being set fire to and abandoned in a field near the disadvantaged east Rome suburb Tor Bella Monaca.