Indonesia sex workers protest city ban

2013-08-26 11:56
Indonesian residents of Klakah Rejo where the Moroseneng prostitution area is located, damage a banner reading "Klakah Rejo now free of prostitution" as they protested against the closing down of the red light area. (Juni Kriswanto, AFP)

Indonesian residents of Klakah Rejo where the Moroseneng prostitution area is located, damage a banner reading "Klakah Rejo now free of prostitution" as they protested against the closing down of the red light area. (Juni Kriswanto, AFP)

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Jakarta - Hundreds of sex workers confronted the mayor of Indonesia's second-largest city as she declared the closure of a prostitution zone, local media reported on Monday.

Prostitutes, brothel owners and pimps disrupted the speech by Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini on Sunday, angrily denouncing the closure of the Klakah Rejo district, broadcaster SCTV reported.

"Our children need to go to school," a prostitute named Lisa told SCTV. "We don't want the future of our children to be destroyed and they end up like us."

The protesters said cash compensation of up to $386 provided by the city was not enough.

The crowd later tore down a "Prostitution-Free Town" billboard erected by officials, the Republika newspaper reported.

"What's going on?" the paper quoted the mayor as saying. "We're trying to help but they are refusing."

Surabaya is also home to Dolly, reputedly the largest red-light district in South-East Asia.

The mayor said that one and other red-light districts would be closed as the city aimed to be prostitution free by 2014.

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