The Indonesian city of Surabaya is home to one of South-East Asia’s biggest red-light districts. The authorities want to close it down, but those who live and work in the area are resisting the move.
Gang Dolly – Dolly Lane in English – began as a small collection of brothels back in the 1970s, and today has grown to house hundreds of sex workers and pimps.
It’s not just home to a thriving sex trade though. An economic eco-system has developed around Dolly.
The red-light area provides jobs and income for residents who do everything from selling food to potential clients to arranging the parking for their motorcycles – all for a price.
But now, the government wants all sex-trade activities in the red-light district to stop.
Officials set a deadline of Wednesday night, and they now plan to evict hundreds of sex workers from the area and close the 60 brothels.
‘Block the streets’
In the run-up to the deadline, there were daily protests organised by residents and activists who want to save Gang Dolly.
Saputra, a resident and activist, says the shutdown will damage their incomes.