August 3, 2020

The PSOE proposes to close clubs and punish the client of prostitution | Society



Penalize the client of prostitution, to persecute those who provide flats where this activity is exercised, to consider trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation as gender violence and total decriminalization of the victim, that "will not be considered guilty in any case and consequently will not be sanctioned". They are the key points of the draft of the PSOE, entitled Draft Comprehensive Law against trafficking in human beings and in particular for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The document is known by the Government, from where at first they described it as "preliminary". This text is one of the three documents that, according to the Executive, are used to draw up the first trafficking law in Spain, which was announced by the Pedro Sánchez team. From the Executive expresses distance to this draft, which they consider "the furthest" from their approaches.

The text, of 50 pages, to which this newspaper has had access, includes 93 articles, arranged in 13 titles with five additional provisions, one transitory and two repeals. Modifies half a dozen laws, including the Criminal Code and the Law of Criminal Procedure. The proposal pursues "eradicate prostitution because of its close link to trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation" The whole philosophy revolves around the protection of victims. Prostitution is alegal in Spain. With this document, the demand for prostitution would become illegal.

A fund to compensate the victims

The draft that the PSOE has prepared as a draft law against trafficking establishes, in its article 43, "the creation of a Fund for the compensation of victims of trafficking", and gives the Government power to regulate its operation: when will be paid the compensation charged to the Fund, the basis for calculating it, how it is requested or how it is claimed.

The text also establishes the money to endow it: it will come "from the General Budgets of the State", "from the confiscated sums and the proceeds from the sale of goods or assets confiscated to those responsible for the crimes of trafficking or related crimes, once satisfied. in court compensation to the victims "," of voluntary payments or donations "," of income, interest or benefits derived from the investments of the Fund ", and any other" source designated by the administrators ".

Different sources confirmed to EL PAÍS that the Government is studying this document to which it wants to incorporate voices from other areas, such as groups and associations that work with prostituted women. "It is one of the drafts commissioned and we will work on all of them," says a spokeswoman for the Executive. To take it forward as an organic law, the Government will need to add to its 84 deputies the support of another 92.

The official position of the Executive and the PSOE is abolitionist. But within the party, according to the consulted sources, there is debate about the content of this new regulation – if it should only focus on trafficking for sexual exploitation or in general – and about the name of the future law – if it is to include or Not the word prostitution. The initial draft of the work contemplates different forms of trafficking in persons although it focuses on sexual exploitation, the majority. Among others, "forced labor or services, slavery or similar, servitude, begging, exploitation to carry out criminal activities, extraction of bodily organs or the celebration of forced marriages".

The State Pact against Gender Violence, in development, includes the approval of an organic law against trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and discourage the demand for prostitution through public campaigns. This draft, prepared as a comprehensive law with a gender perspective, would be the first in Spain, where it is estimated that the business of sexual exploitation of women moves 3,700 million euros per year, which represents more than 10% of the illicit benefits of this area worldwide. In 2017, the police identified 13,000 victims of whom, they say, "at least 80% were sexually exploited". And according to the latest data referred to in the draft, from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the EU, "women and girls represent 71% of the victims detected worldwide and the 80 % of those identified in Western Europe. 95% of them end up exploited by prostitution, which highlights the very close relationship between trafficking and prostitution and a clear gender component. "

Different models of opposition

Abolitionism. Sweden was a pioneer in the path of abolition in 1999. This model penalizes clients, who in their case can reach one year in prison. France joined in 2016 with a regulation that includes economic fines to pay for having sex. In Finland there is a model that punishes the client only if the prostitute is a victim of trafficking networks. The penalty of those who pay to maintain sex has also spread to Iceland, South Africa, Canada, South Korea, Singapore or Northern Ireland.

Regulatory In the Netherlands, prostitution is considered a job since 2000. The law obliges brothel owners to pay taxes and Social Security for prostitutes. It is the model that also occurs in Germany, which liberalized prostitution in 2002. The intended objective was to empower women, to have better working conditions or to avoid being stigmatized. In the absence of in-depth reports, both the United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in human beings and the European Parliament consider that this objective has not been met.

Alegal In Spain prostitution is legal, although the Criminal Code does criminalize pimping and there are also different municipal ordinances that prosecute and fine both clients and women. This model also rules in Italy.

Prohibitionist. In Hungary, prostitution is illegal. It penalizes, above all, women who practice in "protected areas" and face up to prison sentences. For clients, it only includes sanctions if it "accepts" the services of a minor.

These are the main keys of the draft.

Punishment to the client

In Spain there are fifty or so municipal ordinances that pursue prostitution. Some of them, like the one in Seville, only punish the client. In Madrid, the PSOE has tried to launch a similar initiative, at the moment without success. If this draft becomes law, criminal punishment for consumers of prostitution would be mandatory (article 67). It would be an offense with a fine of 12 to 24 months, which must be fixed by the judge, and which would range between 720 euros and 288,000 euros, according to calculations based on the type of fines included in the Criminal Code. If the client uses a minor, prison terms of one to three years and a 24 to 48 months fine (from 1,440 to 576,000 euros) are foreseen.

A specific prosecutor's office

The text provides for the appointment of a prosecutor against Trafficking in Human Beings and Immigration, with the rank of prosecutor of the Chamber – a figure similar to that against gender violence – and the creation of sections in provincial prosecutors. The document designates the Government delegations against Gender Violence, under the Ministry of State for Equality, and the general directorate of Trafficking in Human Beings, under the Ministry of Security, as those responsible for promoting, coordinating and advising all measures.

Floors and pimps

The punishment to the pimp – the person who profits from prostitution – is in the new proposal as in the Penal Code, which includes imprisonment of two to four years and a fine of 12 to 24 months "who profits from the prostitution of another person, even with the consent of the same. " The novelty is that they could double the penalties and fines to those who "knowingly" provide real estate or means of transportation in an attempt to stop the rise of flats to which prostitution has been transferred.

About brothels

Different estimates indicate that in Spain there are about 1,500 brothels, which means three brothels for each hospital. The regulations under study oblige to close all these premises previous sentence. It may be a temporary closure of a maximum of five years or a definitive one. Add the suspension of activities and the disqualification to obtain subsidies and public aid.

Victims of gender violence

Prostitution is "a form of violence against women, an obstacle to achieving equality between women and men and a violation of human dignity," the draft states. These are considered as victims of gender violence for all purposes, which means that they will have access to the resources provided for them, from shelters to psychological care.

Training

The Government, the General Council of the Judiciary, the State Prosecutor's Office and the autonomous communities will ensure, according to the document, specific training on trafficking and sexual exploitation with a focus on gender and human rights.

The debate about prostitution

The registration in the Ministry of Labor of the prostitutes union OTRAS last August raised a wave of protests in the feminist groups and on the street, and cost the job to the general director of Labor Concepción Pascual, appointed by a government that has declared openly abolitionist. On November 22, the National Court annulled its statutes to consider "inadmissible" that this activity is the object of a valid work contract. A line that has been moving for more than a decade Mabel Lozano, director of the documentary [cuyo tráiler puede verse arriba] The Pimp. Short step, bad milk. 76 minutes in which, through the voice of an exproxeneta, tells how the business of prostitution in Spain was born, extended and currently operates. The past 5 December launched a petition on Change.org directed to the Government to request that an Integral Law against trafficking and sexual exploitation be immediately launched, including the criminalization of the client of prostitution, the pursuit of the floors where it is exercised or the consideration of trafficking within the gender violence, the same concepts as the draft of the PSOE.

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