COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE: Almost 5.700 women have been rescued from sexual exploitation in Spain (25/04/2017 by Gema Calderón)

Slaves of the 21st century

Almost 5.700 women have been rescued from sexual exploitation in Spain

  • Since five years ago, Spanish law enforcement agencies have dissolved more than 50 human trafficking mafias

  • Most of female victims came from other countries because of skulduggery and the majority is under-age

Human trafficking and sex exploitation is a topic founded in our day by day, worldwide saying. Since 2002, Spanish law enforcement agencies have discovered 56 criminal bands that worked with women distrain, in case of under-age ones, and skulduggery in violent ways in case of others. Far from that, they have been sent to Spain with the aim of forced them to work by prostitutes in negligible conditions of bondage.

3000 people arrested and 5.676 victims rescued over the last five years in Spain. Those numbers are just showing the top of the iceberg, according to experts and police reports, so we can reduce the size of the social challenge ahead if we are to eradicate this way of slavery of the twenty fist slavery and the mafias that profit from it. Under no circumstances should we forget that there were almost 23.000 women on the verge of sexual slavery last year, a number that have increased this year in a 27%, according to the Intelligence Centre against Terrorism and Organized Crimes. Some police reports also said that human trafficking, that illustrates the scope of a transnational criminal activity, is nearly to represent a big business in our country such as arms and drugs trafficking.

»People who demand sex with a woman have a share of responsibility in being part of human trafficking»

If there is a fact that we need to highlight is that Spain ranks first in Europe and third in the world, behind Thailand and Puerto Rico, in consuming prostitution services, been them understood as a way of entertainment. According to United Nations, this is one of the biggest problems in society because if this service continues being applied then it would be difficult to distinguish between legal or illegal sex enterprises.

This reality also encourages criminals at having their businesses in Spain, with considerable potential for corruption tied to money laundering. It is surprising to find that young people are using brothels with increasing frequency and it doesn´t matter if it is forced prostitution. Main problem is that those women don´t have enough courage to defend themselves and report for own liberty.

There is also no way for the Spanish government on protecting the victims and their families from diseases, cruel acts and threats because this businesses came from other countries, where we have no right to do our law.

»A recent reform of section 187 of the Penal Code is that victims will have an economic resource as a way of protection»

Ever since Sweden first began doing it 18 years ago, seven other countries in Europe, most recently Ireland and France, have adopted different forms of penalizing the men who apply for prostitution services. There was not until 1999 when Spanish Penal Code included woman sexual trafficking as a penalized activity, so it might begin a debate as soon as possible because this is quite a huge problem in our society, country and all over the world.

Gema Calderón Linés | Madrid, 25th April 2017

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