Spain wants to abolish prostitution
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez confirmed last week that he will present a law abolishing prostitution in Spain by the end of this legislative period. The ruling parties plan to introduce a version of the so-called "Nordic model" which makes using sexual services a punishable offence. Commentators call for a broadbased debate.
Human trafficking is the starting point
There is no such thing as voluntary prostitution, writes Elena Valenciano, former vice-president of the Spanish Socialists, in the new newspaper El Periódico de España:
“Fortunately, there are not many who oppose the criminal prosecution of this trafficking in women and girls. ... The real debate revolves around the misconception that prostitution is a voluntary activity. ... Separating the trade in women and girls from the lucrative business of the prostitution industry is neither realistic nor consistent. ... State authorities must finally send a legal signal reprimanding the practices that work in favour of the sex trade. A just society cannot allow girls and women to be bought and sold and their bodies to be rented out by the hour.”
Tens of thousands women need protection now
El País demands immediate measures:
“The debate that the president's proposal has launched could serve to define the criteria that a society convinced of women's rights considers non-negotiable for the sake of its own democratic decency - without moralising arrogance or censorious puritanism. ... In any case there must be an honest and open debate on how to effectively prosecute the mafia networks. ... What we cannot do is continue to pretend that the problem does not exist. To change habits and educate the population about a sexuality that doesn't monetise women are laudable goals, but in the meantime tens of thousands of women live without the slightest protection: it is they who are really in a hurry.”