Spain is again attempting a legal ban on prostitution

by Lorraine Williamson

First Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo last Sunday introduced a bill to end prostitution across Spain, a phenomenon that she says makes the country unworthy of democracy.  According to Deputy Prime Minister, prostitution is not about work but about slavery. 

In principle, prostitution is already prohibited in Spain, but it has never come to a legal ban. The ruling party PSOE has often indicated that it wants to legally prohibit it. But coalition partner Unidas Podemos wants to continue the debate on this issue. And, as such has always withdrawn in the vote on the abolition law. Calvo is now making another attempt to end the paid sex industry, which is “a stain on Spanish democracy.” However, Equality Minister Irene Montero (Podemos) has not included the legal abolition of prostitution in her program. 

Different starting points within the coalition 

PSOE focuses on the UN Convention for the Suppression of Human Trafficking and the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. This would particularly target pimps, who play a key role in the abuse of women and girls. Unidas Podemos, on the other hand, adheres to the Istanbul Convention. This regulates the fight against violence against women and domestic violence. 

Cogesa Expats

Calvo underlines the fact that prostitution perpetuates human trafficking. “Prostitution,” says the Deputy Prime Minister, “is a fundamental element of a male-dominated society. Women are traded as commodities. It is not about work, but about slavery ”. Calvo opposes any form of legalisation, because where prostitution is regulated, human trafficking has increased. She warns against the misconception that prostitution should not be prohibited because everyone is in charge of their own body. 

Governments must take responsibility in sex education 

In announcing the bill to ban prostitution, Calvo appealed to the autonomous regions to take responsibility for proper sex education and not leave it to pornography. “The responsibility we have for this ensures freedom. We must apply our legislation, our social, educational and protective policy at all levels of government, ”said the deputy prime minister. 

In view of the early regional elections in Madrid, Calvo expressed support for her party rival Ángel Gabilondo to lead the region. And to join the group of regional governments with a good emancipation policy and feminism on the political agenda. 

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