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Spanish PM says he’ll outlaw prostitution

Commercial Sexual Exploitation
25 October 2021
Spanish Prime Minister

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has promised to criminalize prostitution in the country, telling his Socialist’s Party’s three-day conference that the practice ‘enslaves’ women.

In 1995, prostitution was decriminalised in Spain and according to a UN study in 2011, Spain is the third biggest country for prostitution in the world.

There are currently no legal repercussions for selling sexual services, so long as it doesn’t take place in a public place.

Since decriminalisation came in, prostitution has grown exponentially and there’s thought to be around 300,000 women who are in prostitution in Spain.

The Nor­d­ic Model

Decrminalising prostitution is a controversial policy, especially when it’s not accompanied by laws to make buying sex illegal.

That’s the approach adopted by the likes of Norway, Sweden, Northern Ireland, France, Iceland and Israel, where the purchase of sex is banned.

This policy approach has been shown to reduce prostitution levels and also make countries less hospitable for human traffickers.

It was first pioneered in Sweden and Norway, hence why it’s called the ‘Nordic Model’.

Crucial to the thinking is behind this approach is an appreciation that most people in prostitution are not there out of 'choice'. Rather, a range of other factors contribute, from economic circumstances, to exploitation, to abuse and many others.

By shifting the burden of blame onto the buyer, the aim is to make it easier for people to exit prostitution.

UK law

In the United Kingdom, the only place where it is illegal to purchase sex is Northern Ireland. The law change was part of the ground-breaking Human Trafficking laws passed in January 2015.

There have been calls for the purchase of sex to be made illegal in England, Wales and Scotland.

One of the reasons CARE supports making the purchase of sex illegal is because of the evidence showing a link between modern slavery and prostitution.

Women and girls specially are often trafficked for sexual exploitation. Laws that make buying sex illegal can help tackle this obvious injustice.

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Commercial Sexual Exploitation

We believe people were made for purpose, not purchase. Exploitation within the sex industry affects some of the most vulnerable in our society. CARE is working for better laws to protect them.

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