Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has vowed to ban prostitution, stating that the practice enslaves women.
Since its decriminalisation in 1995, the industry has employed approximately 300,000 women as sex workers.
Back in 2016, the United Nations estimated that the nation’s sex industry was worth €3.7 billion.
A survey which was conducted in 2009 found that one in three men had paid for sex while another revealed that almost 40% of men had paid for sex.
A study conducted in the year 2011 by the United Nations found that Spain was the third biggest centre for prostitution globally, next to Thailand and Puerto Rico.
Spain’s sex industry is unregulated and punishments are not in place for those who pay for sex, on the basis that it doesn’t take place in a public space.
Mr. Sanchez had pledged to criminalise prostitution in Spain during his election manifesto in 2019.
He also described it as “one of the cruellest aspects of the feminisation of poverty and one of the worst forms of violence against women”.
In November 2018, there were nationwide protests on the UN’s international day for the elimination of violence against women, with many demonstrators displaying signs that called for a ban on prostitution.
Some protesters also expressed their unhappiness towards the government for allowing a sex workers’ trade union to form.
IMAGE – Pedro Sánchez © CC-BY-4.0 ©European Union 2019