The Prime Minister of Spain has denounced prostitution for ‘enslaving’ women and vowed to ban it.
Pedro Sánchez stated: “We will advance by abolishing prostitution, which enslaves women.”
Prostitution has been legal in Spain since 1995, but campaigners say that decision has led to an increase in trafficking and exploitation.
Sánchez made the comments to his party congress, adding that he would push forward legislation to ban the practice and punish those who profit from it.
His party, the Spanish Socialist Workers Party, made the promise to ban prostitution in its 2019 general election manifesto, which called the practice “one of the worst forms of violence against women”.
one of the worst forms of violence against women
Currently, whilst pimping itself is outlawed, prostitution is unregulated, and many brothels operate as hotels or guest houses.
According to BBC Radio 4, around 300,000 women are estimated to be caught up in the sex trade in Spain.
Earlier this year, the UK’s first legal red light district in Leeds was scrapped following years of complaints from local residents.
A ‘Managed Approach’ to prostitution was introduced in Holbeck, Leeds in 2014, allowing prostitutes to operate without fear of arrest between 8pm and 6am.
The zone was paused in March 2020 due to the pandemic, and Leeds Council said the decision to retire the scheme follows a “significant” reduction in the number of prostitutes working in the area.