The PSOE registers a reform of the Penal Code that contemplates prosecuting prostitution clients

After the marathon day that yesterday housed the Equality Commission that managed to save in extremis the law of 'only yes is yes', the PSOE has registered this Thursday a bill in Congress with which it intends to bring to the Penal Code the content on prostitution that it incorporated in the amendment that it decided to withdraw at the last minute. The party, which has committed itself in recent months to abolish prostitution, also incorporates a new article that was not previously included in its proposal: the criminal prosecution of clients.

The proposal, which must be debated in plenary, contemplates fines of between 12 and 24 months for those who "agree to practice acts of a sexual nature in exchange for money or another type of benefit of economic content." In the event that the prostitute is a minor or is "in a situation of vulnerability", the text reads, a prison sentence of one to three years and a fine of 24 to 48 months will be imposed. "In no case will the person who is in a situation of prostitution be sanctioned," he adds.

The Socialists explain in the initiative that "people who resort" to prostitution "participate directly in the framework that sustains this serious violation of human rights" and "represent the condition of possibility for it to occur."

In addition, they propose to recover the locative third party and toughen the crime of non-coercive pimping. The locative third party is a figure recovered from the Penal Code of 1973 (repealed in 1995) to punish the owners of premises who "habitually" favor "the exploitation of the prostitution of another person" even if there is consent. This was the proposal that the Government recovered in the law of 'only yes is yes', but the PSOE eliminated the condition that there be exploitation of the prostitution of others to persecute the owners of premises and that it is enough that they "promote, favor or facilitate” the exercise of the same. And the same with non-coercive pimping.

what happened to the law

The opinion of the law, which will be voted on next week in the plenary session of Congress, was about to fail this Wednesday in the Equality Commission on account of these two precepts that hardly occupy a page of the more than 50 that make it up . And it is that the amendment proposed by the PSOE to toughen them did not like United We Can or the partners of the Government, who rejected them outright by ensuring that they could end up harming the women themselves. The possibility that the amendment would come out with the approval of the PP was on the table, but the refusal of Alberto Núñez Feijóo to support the opinion as a whole would make it decline.

In this scenario, the PSOE decided at the last minute to withdraw the amendment and thus ensure that the rule could go ahead. He finally collected the vote in favor of all the groups except the PP and Vox. And in addition, the articles related to prostitution that had caused so many dissents were eliminated from the text. Something that most of the parties demanded from the beginning through amendments presented by both Ciudadanos and ERC, JxCAT, Bildu, the CUP, PNV and En Comú Podem.

The discomfort among the socialists after what happened was palpable this Wednesday. "Either you are in favor or you are against prostitution, or you are in favor or you are against defending women who are being victims of sexual exploitation," said Adriana Lastra, who pointed directly to United We Can for the internal discussion they have on this matter.

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