The PSOE will have to rely on the PP to abolish prostitution

A prostitute on the street. / CR

The Congress will approve today to process the law that seeks to strike down the pimp industry, but with the partners of the investiture very far from the socialist pretensions

Alfonso Torres

Congress will accept tonight by a large majority to process the proposal for a socialist law that aims to abolish prostitution in Spain. Only the deputies of Ciudadanos and the independentistas of Esquerra and the CUP opposed the initiative. The three groups are firm supporters that this activity, when it is voluntary, be regulated as just another profession and that only cases linked to acts of violence or coercion be criminally prosecuted.

However, the tense debate that took place in the plenary session made it clear that the total abolition of prostitution pursued by the PSOE, with the closure of all brothels, the criminal sanction of whoremongers and the imprisonment of pimps and brothel owners For the simple fact of profiting from this activity, regardless of whether or not it is something voluntary, it will only be possible if Pedro Sánchez's party is supported by the PP bench. Today, it seems the only way to gather the absolute majority essential to carry out this rule.

The popular ones said from the rostrum that they agree with the proposed reforms, but, yes, they warned the PSOE that they will not admit reductions in the text to facilitate the addition of other groups, a reduction that, on the other hand, the socialists do not seem to be going to try .

PNV, EH Bildu and JxCat and the small left-wing groups, the usual partners of the Government since the investiture, with their abstention allowed the text to be processed and discussed, but they made it clear that they are very far from the PSOE's claims, which they believe He only acts because of a political tantrum in his feminist pulse with United We Can, and they warned him that unless he introduces substantial modifications in the process of amendments, he will not be able to count on their final support.

EH Bildu and JxCat, are closer to Esquerra, since they are not in favor of the criminalization of the prostitution industry and are close to the regulationist option; the PNV believes that the initiative is nothing more than an «improvisation» and «a heater» of the PSOE, an incomplete and little worked proposal that should be reworked with time and calm; and Más País, BNG and Compromís, who also do not like solutions via the Penal Code, insisted above all that the rule turns prostitution into something clandestine, since it does not give concrete outlets to those who practice it.

United We Can, in the middle

The position of United We Can is the most complicated. I vote in favor of processing your partner's initiative, because the majority of the group is also abolitionist, but wants to act as a bridge in search of a less radical and more nuanced text that is acceptable to nationalists and leftist groups. However, he knows that his effort may be doomed to failure, as was the case just a few weeks ago. In May, within the amendments to the law of 'only yes is yes', after much effort, he managed to get the partners of the legislature, including ERC, to agree to persecute the pimp industry when there is sexual exploitation, but the agreement was spoiled by the PSOE itself , who is not willing to abdicate that any pimp or pimp who profits from his activity is a criminal, without other nuances. In addition, the purples also believe that the initiative is incomplete, because it should be accompanied by a trafficking law that rescues and protects prostitutes and prevention measures, such as awareness campaigns against sexual exploitation and reinforcement of youth sexual education. .

Despite everything, if PSOE and PP are capable of converting the initial understanding into a pact, the sum of the votes of both parties, regardless of what the rest of the groups do, would ensure an absolute majority in both chambers and, therefore, , the approval of the law at the rate they decide to set.

If the norm is approved this legislature, which is more than possible if the two major parties want it, it will mean the immediate closure of all Spanish brothels and the imprisonment of anyone who enriches himself through the exercise of prostitution for another person. 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, although the rule explicitly excludes prostituted women from any sanction.

The pimp, if there is neither violence nor coercion, will be punished from 1 to 3 years in prison. If intimidation is present, he will have the current sentence of 3 to 6 years in prison. By the same criteria, the locative third party would be the mere use of a business or premises to profit from prostitution. There would be a crime without the need to prove exploitation or regardless of whether the woman engages in prostitution voluntarily. It would be considered an aggravated type of pimping, punishable by 2 to 4 years in prison, plus a high fine and the closure of the premises.

rescue measures

The rule also punishes whoremongers with heavy fines and even orders their entry into prison for 1 to 3 years if the prostituted woman is a minor or is "in a vulnerable situation." The fines will be from 12 to 24 months (the amount per day is set by the judge) and double if she is a minor. The reform frees prostituted women from any responsibility or sanction, whom it considers victims without exceptions.

The initiative provides for the rescue of prostituted women, but it does so in a very generic and concise way. It indicates that they will be considered for all purposes direct victims of the crime, which entitles them to compensation and aid, and adds that all of them will enjoy the rights of comprehensive assistance that will be recognized for victims of all sexual violence in the future approval of the law of 'only yes is yes'. This norm, which could be approved by the Senate 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 the that the State, autonomies and municipalities try to rescue those mistreated by their partners or ex-partners.

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