Spain’s Ombudswoman warns of human trafficking rings targeting refugee women fleeing to Europe

Soledad Becerril, Spain's national Ombudswoman. Photo: EFE
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• ‘Defensora del Pueblo’ said refugee women risk victimization twice over

• Soledad Becerril called for ‘more generosity’ from Spain in granting asylum

Spain’s national Ombudswoman has told a meeting of Spanish human rights attorneys that sexual exploitation of refugee women arriving to Spain is on the rise and the country needs to be “more generous” in granting special protection against human traffickers targeting refugee groups.

Speaking at the Second Congress of the Spanish Human Rights Attorneys in Madrid, Spain’s Defensora del Pueblo Soledad Becerril said that war, famine and religious persecution are increasing the number of women refugees who are fleeing to safety in Europe and along their route they are vulnerable to exploitation by gangs of human traffickers.

She told the attorneys that the traffickers are operating “enormously sophisticated networks” and Spain needs to do more to keep women already victimized by war from falling victims a second time to exploitation by sex traffickers.

Since 2009, Becerril said, Spain has only granted refugee status to six women on the basis of their being victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Read the Full Story in Spanish at La Vanguardia >>

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