Prostitution in Spain
|Type||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||243.9 cm × 233.7 cm (96 in × 92 in)|
|Location||Museum of Modern Art. Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest, New York City|
Prostitution in Spain is not addressed by any specific law, but a number of activities related to it such as pimping are illegal.
- 1 Legal status
- 2 Politics
- 3 Migrant workers
- 4 Advocacy
- 5 Social history
- 6 Sex work in Spanish culture
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Other sources
- 10 Legal
- 11 External links
Prostitution (Prostitución) was decriminalised in 1995. Prostitution itself is not directly addressed in the Criminal Code of Spain, but exploitation such as pimping is illegal.       
The only article in the Code dealing specifically with adult prostitution is Artícle 188, which bans pimping:
1. El que determine, empleando violencia, intimidación o engaño, o abusando de una situación de superioridad o de necesidad o vulnerabilidad de la víctima, a persona mayor de edad a ejercer la prostitución o a mantenerse en ella, será castigado con las penas de prisión de dos a cuatro años y multa de 12 a 24 meses. En la misma pena incurrirá el que se lucre explotando la prostitución de otra persona, aun con el consentimiento de la misma''.
Owning an establishment where prostitution takes place is in itself legal, but the owner cannot derive financial gain from the prostitute or hire a person to sell sex because prostitution is not considered a job and thus has no legal recognition.
Local governments differ in their approaches to both indoor and outdoor prostitution, usually in response to community pressure groups, and based on 'public safety'.  Most places do not regulate prostitution, but the government of Catalonia offers licenses for persons "to gather people to practice prostitution".  These licenses are used by brothel owners to open 'clubs', where prostitution takes place (the women are theoretically only 'gathered' to work on the premises not employed by the owner). Some places have implemented fines for street prostitution.  
Prostitution was tolerated in Spain throughout the mediaeval period, until the 17th century and the reign of Phillip IV (1621–65) whose 1623 decree closed the mancebías (brothels) forcing the women out into the street, a very unpopular decision, but one that remained in place till the 19th century. In the reign of Isabel II (1843–1868) regulation was introduced, firstly in cities, the Disposiciones de Zaragoza (1845) and the Reglamento para la represión de los excesos de la prostitución en Madrid (1847), followed by the 1848 Penal Code. (Guerena 2003, 2008)
In 1935 during the Second Republic (1931-6) prostitution was prohibited. Once the Dictatorship (1939–75) was established, this law was repealed (1941). Spain became officially abolitionist on 18 June 1962, when the 1949 United Nations (UN) Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others was ratified by Spain, and the Decree 168 of 24 January 1963 modified the Penal Code (Código Penal) according to the Convention. In theory, this policy, in accordance with the Convention, regarded sex workers (trabajadores sexuales) as victims of sexual exploitation and advocated punishment of their exploiters rather than the workers themselves, and refused to distinguish between voluntary and coerced sex work.  However, there were inconsistencies, as the prostitutes were in fact treated more like criminals: under Act 16/1970 of 4 August on social menace and rehabilitation (Ley de peligrosidad y rehabilitación social) prostitutes were declared amongst those classes categorized as social evils, and could be confined to special centres or forbidden to live in specified areas. In practice however, prostitution was quietly ignored and tolerated.
Although democracy was restored in 1975, it was not till the Penal Code revisions of 1995 that this policy was revisited, and most laws regarding prostitution were repealed, with the exception of those governing minors and those with mental health problems. This included the Act 16/1970. Further revisions in 1999 addressed trafficking, as did the 2000 Immigration Act which followed other European precedents by offering asylum to trafficked victims if they collaborated (Valiente 2003).
Opinion remains deeply divided in Spain over prostitution, and law reform has been in a political impasse for a long time.  Consequently it remains in rather a grey zone of unregulated but tolerated semi-legality. The standard debates exist as to whether it is work like any other work, or exploitation of women as espoused by groups like Malostratos.  Meanwhile it thrives, and has prompted headlines such as El nuevo burdel de Europa (The New Brothel of Europe).  
- Plan Municipal de Intervención ante la Prostitución en el municipio 2011-2014, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
According to a 2009 TAMPEP study, 90% of sex workers are migrants. Of all countries studied, only Italy had such a high percentage of migrant workers.   About 80% of these were Latin American (mainly from Ecuador, Colombia and the Dominican Republic)  (see also Laura Oso, 2003, 2010), however this is changing rapidly due to arrival of Central European migrants (mainly Romania and Bulgaria) who now make up 25% compared to 50% from Latin America. There is also considerable cross-border traffic between Spain and Portugal and France. Equally, some 80% of Spanish national workers have worked outside Spain, mainly from economic necessity.  This needs to be appreciated in the overall context of Immigration to Spain. As in other countries in Western Europe, there is concern over the presence of migrant workers on the streets and claims that many of them were coerced. In 2008 the Spanish Government announced plans to aid women who had been trafficked. 
Organisations working with migrant women, include Proyecto Esperanza  and shelters such as IPSSE (Instituto para la Promoción de Servicios Especializados)
Organisations working with sex workers in Spain include APRAMP (Associacion para la Prevención, Reinserción y Atención de la Mujer Prostituida)  while sex workers' rights organisations include Hetaira (Madrid),  as well as regional organisations such as SICAR Asturias,  AMTTTSE (Asociación de Mujeres, Transexuales y Travestis como Trabajadoras Sexuales en España, Málaga) and CATS (Comité de Apoyo a las Trabajadoras del Sexo, Murcia).
Spanish sex workers continue to be concerned about their lack of protection and in July 2011 petitioned the Minister of Health (Leire Pajín).  A demonstration is planned for November 6, 2011 in Madrid, and a communique has been released setting out sex workers' complaints and demands. 
Sex work in Spanish culture
Goya (1746–1828) frequently commented on the place of prostitution in Spanish high society  such as satirising the church's involvement in the trade, for profit. Best known though are his controversial Majas.  Other examples are Murillo's Four Figures on a Step and Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (illustrated).
Sex work celebrities in Spain
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- 1. Whosoever by using violence, intimidation or deception, or abuse of a position of superiority or of the vulnerability of the victim, causes an adult person to engage in prostitution or remain in it, is punished by a prison sentence of two to four years and a fine of 12 to 24 months (i.e. fine days set at rate depending on financial circumstances). The same penalty shall be incurred by one who profits from the prostitution of another person, even with the consent of that person.'Noticias Juridicas: Ley Orgánica 10/1995, de 23 de noviembre, del Código Penal. CAPÍTULO V. DE LOS DELITOS RELATIVOS A LA PROSTITUCIÓN Y LA CORRUPCIÓN DE MENORES. 188
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- El País
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- Pide a la ministra Leire Pajín que escuche a las trabajadoras del sexo. Actuable July 2011
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