The PP will say 'yes' to process the socialist law to abolish prostitution


The coincidence of the two major parties in the need to persecute and close the pimp industry gives high possibilities for the prohibition to become a reality in this legislature

Alfonso Torres

There are more and more elements that indicate that the prohibition of prostitution in Spain could be very close. For the first time, there is even a chance that the abolition of this business, which in most cases lives and profits from the sexual exploitation of women, will be a reality before the end of this term (in principle in the fall of 2023) .

The plenary session of Congress will debate next week the PSOE bill that intends to make it a crime to profit from prostitution, close the brothels and fine the whoremongers and the Socialists already know that they are guaranteed admission for processing. Regardless of what its usual parliamentary partners say, the vast majority of whom are not inclined to persecute the prostitution industry, the plenary, by a very large majority, will tell the Lower House that it can begin to draft the abolitionist law and will open the political path of its future approval.

The reason is that the 89 deputies of the PP will add their 'yeses' to the 120 socialists on Tuesday afternoon, with which the beginning of the processing of the law is guaranteed by more than 60% of the seats in the hemicycle, do what do the rest of the groups. The favorable position of the PP at the end of the prostitution business is not a surprise for Pedro Sánchez's party, since the popular parties were already ready two weeks ago to approve the bulk of the contents of the current socialist proposal in the form of an amendment to the law of 'only yes is yes', an amendment that the PSOE withdrew at the last minute due to the threat of the nationalists to prevent, otherwise, the approval of the reform of the fight against sexual violence.

In fact, the failed amendment already included literally all the changes to the Penal Code included in the bill, except for the criminal punishment of the whoremongers, which would be a large fine as a general rule and 1 to 3 years in prison if the prostituted woman is a minor or is in a “vulnerable” situation.

parliamentary division

If the PSOE and the PP are able to convert the initial agreement into a pact, ironing out nuances and differences via amendments, the sum of the votes of these two parties would ensure an absolute majority in both chambers and, therefore, the approval of the law at the pace that they decide to mark. Their agreement would minimize the importance of the position of the rest of the groups, with ERC, Ciudadanos, JxCat and the CUP against the ban and in favor of voluntary prostitution being regulated as just another profession; with United We Can divided between abolitionists and supporters of regulation, which can unleash another pulse for the leadership of feminism on the left and in the Government itself, as anticipated by the abolitionist demonstration that toured Madrid last Saturday; and with the PNV and EH Bildu, who have not yet revealed their letters on the substantive debate.

If the norm is approved, this legislature will mean the immediate closure of all Spanish brothels and the imprisonment of anyone who enriches himself with the exercise of prostitution for another person, whether the beneficiary is a simple pimp (the pimp) or is also the owner of the brothel, flat or premises where sexual exploitation occurs. It will not matter if the brothel works with or without the voluntary participation of those who prostitute themselves. Promoting prostitution will be illegal and a crime in all cases, but prostituted women are excluded from any sanction.

The socialist reform will consider anyone who, for profit, promotes, favors or facilitates the prostitution of another person, even with their consent, to be the perpetrator of a pimping crime. The infraction will be paid with between 1 and 3 years in prison and a fine of 12 to 24 months. The definition is designed to exempt from the crime behaviors of mere reception in the family sphere (a prostitute who brings money home).

As a crime connected to the previous one, the so-called locative third party is recovered, the role of the prostitution employer, which has been decriminalized for almost 30 years. Whoever, for profit and habitually, uses a property, premises or establishment, open or not to the public, to promote, favor or facilitate the prostitution of another person, even with their consent, will be punished with 2 to 4 years in prison, a fine of 18 to 24 months and the possible closure of the premises, as well as the dissolution of the company and the seizure of its assets. The third party acts as an aggravating circumstance of pimping and both crimes are committed only by verifying the profit motive. Neither violence nor intimidation is necessary, as has been the case up to now.

Victim Protection

In fact, the Penal Code maintains the current crime of pimping as an aggravated type. It will punish with sentences of 3 to 6 years in prison and a fine of 18 to 24 months to anyone who, using violence, intimidation, deception, or abusing a situation of superiority or need or vulnerability of the victim, determines a person older than age to exercise or remain in prostitution. All types of pimping will receive very high economic sanctions, which in the case of sentences of more than five years can range from three to five times the benefit.

The proposal itself already includes aspects that were not planned to be legislated until the processing of the trafficking law, currently stuck in the draft phase in the Executive and without a date to reach Parliament. Prostituted women will be considered for all purposes direct victims of the crime, which gives them the right to compensation and aid, and all of them will enjoy the rights of comprehensive assistance that will be recognized for victims of all sexual violence with the next approval of the law of 'only yes is yes'. The norm against sexual violence, which could be approved before August, establishes a comprehensive assistance network of psychological, medical, legal, economic or social support for the recovery and social integration of the victim equivalent to that of the assistance network with which the State, autonomies and municipalities try to rescue those mistreated by their partners or ex-partners.

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