Sex workers protest violence in London

A protester holds a placard during a candle-lit vigil to mark the international day to end violence against sex workers, organised by the English Collective of Prostitutes, in London, December 17, 2014 (AFP Photo/Justin Tallis)

London (AFP) - Prostitutes held a candlelit vigil in London on Wednesday to mark the international day to end violence against sex workers.

Organised by the English Collective of Prostitutes, the protesters held signs such as "Criminalisation makes sex workers vulnerable to rape, decriminalise now!"

Another held a colourful home-made placard reading "sex work is work!"

Holding candles, the crowd held gathered in Soho, traditionally a London red light district.

The protest was to "demand an end to criminalisation, stigma and poverty which makes us vulnerable to all forms of violence and exploitation," the campaign group said in a statement.