A battling prostitute is ready to take the petition she never thought she could orchestrate to parliament.
Ana Loureiro has amassed 4000 signatures in favour of regulating the sector to the extent that brothels will be legal.
Up till now, although ‘legal’, prostitution is still very much on the margins of the law. No third party is allowed to benefit from it, facilitate or encourage it.
Mother-of-two Loureiro runs a brothel, for want perhaps of a better word – and she wants to see regulations in place so that sex-workers are not exploited.
“Our petition seeks to end abuses against these women”, she told reporters. “We want to ensure people working are legal and that the houses (they work from) are regulated as well as health conditions improved. Whether prostitution is legal or not is now a decision for the people, and political power…”
Explain reports, Ana Loureiro managed to collect the 4000 signatures required for a petition to be discussed in parliament in just 60 days.
“I never thought it would be possible”, she said. “Since this all began we have received so many insults, I never imagined we would be successful. But in the end we have lots of people supporting us”.
Ana Loureiro delivered the petition to the Assembleia da República yesterday (Monday) and it will now be published in government newspaper Diário da República, before coming up for discussion by MPs.
Meantime, she says her organisation’s next move is to collect signatures for a referendum – on the basis that the petition may not be approved first time round.
“We’re not giving up”, she told tabloid Correio da Manhã.
Ana Loureiro’s ‘story’ has been heavily plugged by national media, painting a picture of a woman fighting against the odds.
A young single mother, Loureiro initially sought work, studying at the same time. But her employers were forced to lay people off, and she found herself having to make some very tough decisions.
Ana Loureiro told afternoon television this month that both her children know exactly what she does, and that she does it “to put food in their mouths”.