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Spanish PM Sanchez vows to 'abolish' £3billion prostitution industry warning it 'enslaves' women 


Spanish PM Sanchez vows to ‘abolish’ £3billion prostitution industry warning it ‘enslaves’ women

  • PM Pedro Sanchez has vowed to abolish prostitution, saying it ‘enslaves’ women
  • Leftist prime minister announced policy at a three-day Socialist party congress
  • Sexual exploitation, pimping are illegal in Spain, but prostitution is unregulated
  • Activists say legal limbo around the industry fuels demand for trafficked women










Spain‘s leftist prime minister vowed Sunday to ‘abolish’ the £3billion prostitution industry in the country, saying it ‘enslaves’ women.

Speaking at the end of a three-day congress of his Socialist party, PM Pedro Sanchez highlighted policies introduced by his government which he said had helped Spain ‘advance’ such as tougher domestic violence laws and minimum wage hikes.

‘And out of this congress emerges a commitment I will implement. We will advance by abolishing prostitution, which enslaves women,’ he told the gathering in the eastern city of Valencia without providing further details.

While sexual exploitation and pimping are illegal in Spain, prostitution was decriminalised in 1995 and is unregulated.

Spain's leftist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez vowed Sunday to 'abolish' the £3billion prostitution industry in the country, saying it 'enslaves' women

Spain’s leftist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez vowed Sunday to ‘abolish’ the £3billion prostitution industry in the country, saying it ‘enslaves’ women

There is no punishment for those who offer paid sexual services of their own will as long as it’s not in public spaces, with the laws focused instead on combating human trafficking.

Although it is not recognised as regular employment, there is a large number of brothels throughout the country – many operate as hotels or other lodging establishments. 

An estimated 300,000 women work as prostitutes nationwide and one in three men in Spain has paid for sex at least once in their lives, according to a 2009 survey by the country’s state-owned Social Investigations Centre (CIS).

Campaigners argue the legal limbo around prostitution fuels demand for trafficked women.

Sexual exploitation and pimping are illegal in Spain, prostitution was decriminalised in 1995 and is unregulated (pictured, 'Paradise' brothel in Girona, Spain)

Sexual exploitation and pimping are illegal in Spain, prostitution was decriminalised in 1995 and is unregulated (pictured, ‘Paradise’ brothel in Girona, Spain)

Sanchez took office in January 2020 at the helm of a minority coalition government after his Socialist party came first in two inconclusive national elections in 2019.

The party published a woman-focused manifesto ahead of the general election held in April 2019 which proposed outlawing prostitution in what was seen as a move to attract female voters.

The manifesto called prostitution ‘one of the cruelest aspects of the feminisation of poverty and one of the worst forms of violence against women’. 

But Sanchez’ party have failed to table any legislation in nearly two years in power despite growing concerns over the potential for trafficking of women for sex work.

In 2017, more than 13,000 women were identified by police in anti-trafficking raids. 80 per cent of whom were being exploited.

An estimated 300,000 women work as prostitutes nationwide and one in three men in Spain has paid for sex at least once in their lives (pictured, the illuminated sign of a brothel night club in La Jonquera, Spain)

An estimated 300,000 women work as prostitutes nationwide and one in three men in Spain has paid for sex at least once in their lives (pictured, the illuminated sign of a brothel night club in La Jonquera, Spain)



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