The prime minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez has pledged on Sunday to criminalize prostitution in the country. While speaking to supporters at the end of his three-day congress in Valencia, he said that this practice enslaves women.
Spain decriminalized prostitution in 1995. In 2016 UN has estimated the sex industry of the country worth Eur 3.7bn. A 2009 survey has found that up to one in three Spanish men has paid for sex.
Another report that surfaced in 2009 has suggested that the figure may be higher as 39. A 2011UN study has cited Spain as one of the third biggest centers for prostitution on a global scale. Also, the other leading countries are Thailand and Puerto Rico.
Prostitution is currently getting regulated in Spain. There is no punishment for those who offer paid sex services of their own will along as it does not happen in public places. However, pimping or acting in the form of a proxy between a sex worker and a client is illegal.
The industry has started booming since its decriminalization. An estimation says that around 30000 women work as prostitutes in Spain.
Cesar Jara, a Spanish journalist, said that 95% of the prostitution in Spain is not free. It comes with force due to threat, pressure, or socio-economic conditions.
Sex trafficking generated at least Eur 7-8 million daily in Spain. The country is the second biggest market of prostitution in Europe after Germany.
In 2019 the PM’s party published a pledge in its election manifesto to outlaw sex work. In the manifesto, he called prostitution one of the cruelest aspects of the feminization of poverty.
Supporters of the current system of Spain have said that it has brought more benefits to women who are working in this trade. It is making their lives safer. However, in recent years’ significant concerns have been raised around the potential for women to get trafficked in 2017. Police have identified 13000 women in the anti-trafficking raid.