Just a few hours before the march, Thursday, in memory of the prostitute who was mortally stabbed on Linné St., Schaerbeek, on 5 June, the Committee of Brussels’s Alhambra District, which is affected by street prostitution, indicates in an open letter that it is in favor of a pragmatic approach to the issue. It speaks in particular in favor of “P-Zones’’ (prostitution tolerance zones), and of a building complex to shelter, among others, prostitutes’ shop windows, like Antwerp’s “Villa Tinto’’. This infrastructure offers an alternative to street prostitution.
The Alhambra Committee makes it clear that it is not against prostitution, but rather against the disturbance it causes in a residential district. “What is up for debate in the Alhambra district concerns prostitution street nuisance, and not prostitution’s role in our society. We can accept several independent prostitutes “working’’ in the neighborhood, but it is difficult not to notice the Rumanian-Bulgarian-Albanian-Hungarian mafia installed on our streets since 2005. The repeated actions for cancellation taken by (the association) Espace P have allowed for the extension of prostitution networks, and the progressive buying out of the district’s coffee shops by the same networks,’’ denounces the Alhambra Committee, specifying that they are favorable to police control of clients.
The Committee denounces the fact that Espace P, a non-profit organization accompanying sex workers, and the UTSOPI group, which defends their rights, “want the Alhambra District to remain, by all means, an open-sky brothel, and propose that all prostitutes may solicit for clients at any time, day or night, and anywhere on the street.”
The Alhambra Committee also deplores that these organizations are not really enthused by the idea of a Brussels “Villa Tinto’’ “for the only one reason that prostitutes without official papers could not work there.’’ It also reproaches them for advocating prostitution tolerance zones in residential districts.