#VIDEO: Trafficking, sex slavery problem in Spain

Thousands of women believed forced into prostitution in Spain by sex traffickers. Photo: Médicos del Mundo via YouTube
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• Médicos del Mundo say 14,000 women victims of sex traffickers in Spain
• Madrid’s Universidad Pontificia says 30-40,000 at risk of forced prostitution

An estimated tens of thousands of women working as prostitutes throughout Spain are victims of human trafficking and sex slavery, according to experts and organisations marking Friday’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons with the release of studies and awareness campaigns on sex trafficking in Spain.

The Spanish affiliate of global humanitarian agency Doctors Without Borders, Médicos del Mundo, released a brief YouTube video (see below) on the problem of women forced into sex slavery in Spain, claiming there are least 14,000 women from mostly poor and migrant backgrounds who are kept captive and forced into prostitution by human trafficking rings.

Separately, a study released by researchers at Madrid’s Universidad Pontificia de Comillas ICAI-ICADE estimates the number of women who may be forced into prostitution across Spain to be as many as 30,000 to 40,000, or roughly one-third of 100,000 female prostitutes estimated by the government’s Ministry of Health to be actively working in Spain.

While prostitution is not illegal in Spain, it is regulated and sex workers and their clients are barred from offering their services near schools, public parks and infant playgrounds, and prostitutes can also be fined for “obscene exhibitionism” in public.

In other countries, people are becoming more aware of sex workers who may be forced into the trade, and are doing their best to avoid services where slavery may be present. Some do this by looking at the likes of a london escort agency directory instead of picking a worker off the street, where it’s less easy to confirm if they are a victim of trafficking. Spain could encourage similar practices, or perhaps even an amnesty for sex slaves to come forward without fear of immediate deportation.


? Read More in Spanish at Tribuna Feminista, Europa Press and El País …

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