Prostitutes Get Own Radio Station

Prostitutes in the Brazilian city of Salvador are starting up their own radio station.

The Association of Prostitutes of Bahia state has won government permission for the project, enabling FM station Radio Zona to start broadcasting in the second half of the year, project coordinator Sandro Correia said on Thursday.

"We are not going to apologize for prostitution but we are going to struggle for the dignity of the profession," Correia told Reuters.

The aim was not to attract women to the business. The station will feature programs about the trade but will also discuss issues such as human rights, social questions, and sexual abuse, Correia said.

"The idea is that we have diverse programs that look at health issues, AIDS prevention, and racism, for example," he said.

Working girls and media professionals such as Correia will staff the station and will give prostitutes training in an alternative job. Funding will come from association funds, advertising and sponsorship.

Prostitution is widespread in Brazil, especially in Bahia state and other parts of the impoverished northeast.

International rights organizations have criticized the country as a destination for sex tourism and child prostitution.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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