Prostitution was decriminalized in Spain in the 1990s.
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez vowed on Sunday to ban prostitution in the country. Speaking at a three-day meeting of his socialist party, the prime minister sees prostitution as enslaving women.
In Spain, selling sex is legal, but mating and sexual abuse are illegal activities. Prostitution was decriminalized in the country in the 1990s. Providing sex services of one’s own free will is allowed, as long as it is not done in public places. Current laws focus on the fight against human trafficking.
British Broadcasting Corporation BBC writes those who support the current system believe that decriminalization has made the lives of sex workers safer.
Spanish newspaper El Pais writes that anti-trafficking raids by Spanish police in 2017 identified 13,000 women, at least 80 percent of whom had been exploited.
BBC’s According to the Commission, an estimated 300,000 women work as sex workers. According to a UN report published more than a decade ago, Spain was the third largest concentration of prostitution in the world, after Thailand and Puerto Rico.
According to a study carried out more than ten years ago, one in three men in Spain has paid for sex at least once in their lifetime. According to a 2016 UN estimate, the Spanish sex industry is worth € 3.7 billion.
Sanchez has served as prime minister since 2018. In January last year, he began leading a minority government. The Socialist Party published its women-focused manifesto in 2019 before the election. The manifesto proposed a ban on prostitution, which was intended to attract female voters. Among other things, it called prostitution one of the “worst forms” of violence against women.