Countries should not include prostitution in their GDP

PROSTITUTION should not be included in the calculation of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Elena Valenciano, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament, has asked the European Commission to prevent countries from including prostitution in the calculation of their GDP, as this would be a violation of human rights.

Valenciano sharply criticised the European System of National and Regional Accounts of the European Union “which makes it mandatory for countries to include prostitution in their gross domestic product.”

The regulations governing the system specify that only economic activities which have been agreed upon by the client and the consumer can be included in the calculation of any given country’s GDP, she said.

Valenciano asked the commission what measures it would take to keep countries from including in their calculations activities that violate human rights. Moreover, she asked the commission to redouble efforts to fight human trafficking and sexual exploitation, which force millions of women, in many cases minors, into prostitution. 

According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), Spain’s GDP will increase by between 2.7 and 4.5 per cent – between €27 billion and €45 billion – thanks to the new statistics, which include illegal activities including smuggling, drug trafficking and prostitution. 

In addition, the Spanish MEP criticised the fact that the European Union had not taken measures to avoid the tragedy of hundreds of illegal immigrants dying when trying to reach Europe from Africa by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. “It is about time we put in place a true common immigration policy which guarantees controlling borders and gives priority to human rights,” said Valenciano.

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