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Sex Work Has Been Legal in Spain Since 1995. but the Nation’s Prime Minister Is Now Vowing to Ban Prostitution, Saying It ‘Enslaves Women.’

~ October 2021 ~

  • Spain’s prime minister said he vows to end prostitution in the country, the Washington Post reported.
  • Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said prostitution is “one of the worst forms of violence against women.”
  • Sex work has been legal in Spain since 1995 and is legal throughout Europe.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made the vow while reading from his 2019 election manifesto at a three-day congress of his ruling Socialist Workers’ Party on Sunday, the Washington Post reported.

His document said prostitution is “one of the cruelest aspects of the feminization of poverty and one of the worst forms of violence against women.”

Sex work has been legal in Spain since 1995.

According to a 2011 UN report seen by The Post, Spain was the third-biggest capital of prostitution in the world at the time, behind Thailand and Puerto Rico.

As many as 300,000 people are working in Spain’s sex industry, and the industry brings in as much as $26.5 billion a year, according to recent estimates from Havoscope, an information database on the global black market.

Prostitution is legal across Europe, including in countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Greece, according to the Post.

Those who oppose Sánchez’s call for banning prostitution say it being legal benefits the women who work in the industry and keeps them safe, the Post reported.

Critics of legalized prostitution, however, have said these countries are more likely to experience increased human trafficking, pimping, and other related crimes, according to the Post.

 A version of this article originally appeared here on


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