Spain’s ruling PSOE says it will outlaw prostitution if it wins this month’s general election

Orihuela prepares to celebrate World Environment Day with two weekends of activities. Image: Orihuela Town Hall

SPAIN’S ruling left-leaning Partido Socialista (PSOE) has said it will ban prostitution if it wins this month’s snap general election.

Party sources told Spanish media they would update their manifesto to including proposals for a ban.

“Prostitution, which we aim to abolish, is one of the cruellest aspects of the feminisation of poverty and one of the worst forms of violence against women,” the updated document is set to say.

It comes as the party has framed its election offering as a progressive, moderate alternative to the social conservatism offered by parties on the right.

It also follows previous pledges from PSOE to outlaw prostitution. Plans drawn up in December would have treated sex workers as victims and led to brothels being shut down if they had passed.

Pro-prostitution groups including the OTRAS sex workers’ union opposed the plans, claiming their restricted women’s choice and would make it harder to protect those in the industry.

Spain’s sex work industry is estimated to be worth around €3.7 billion. Experts estimate around 13,000 women work in the industry and that 80 per cent work against their own will or are exploited.

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Joe Gerrard

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