Pedro Sanchez, Spain’s Prime Minister, made a promise on Sunday to end prostitution.

Sanchez, speaking to supporters following the conclusion of the Socialist Party’s three day congress in Valencia said that it “enslaves” females.

Prostitution was decriminalised in Spain in 1995 and in 2016 the UN estimated the country’s sex industry was worth €3.7bn (£3.1bn, $4.2bn).

According to a 2009 study, up to 33% of Spanish men have paid for their sex.

Another 2009 report suggests that this figure could rise to 39%. A UN study from 2011 also cites Spain as being the third largest centre for prostitution worldwide.

Spain has not yet regulated prostitution. However, those offering paid sexual services are exempt from any punishment as long it isn’t done in public places. It is still illegal to act as a proxy or pimp between a sex worker, and potential clients.

Prostitution in Spain has grown tremendously since it was decriminalized. It is believed that 300,000 prostitutes work in Spain.

Sanchez’s party, which was in the process of attracting more female voters in 2019, published an election manifesto in which it pledged to end prostitution.

Prostitution was referred to in the manifesto as “one of most cruel aspects of the feminisation and violence against women”

Two years after the election, however, there has been no legislative action.

Spain’s current system has been praised by supporters as having brought great benefits to women who work in the trade. It also makes life easier for them.

Recent concerns about the possibility of women being trafficked to sex have been growing in alarm. Spanish police found 13,000 victims of anti-trafficking raids in 2017, and stated that at least 80 percent were being used against their will.


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