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“Las personas fueron creadas para ser amadas, las cosas fueron creadas para ser usadas. La razón por la que el mundo está en caos es porque las cosas están siendo amadas y las personas están siendo usadas”
Despite some groups and Internet pages that will claim that prostitution is legal in Spain. The truth is, it is illegal. The issue is, it’s not regulated either.
Sex workers in Spain work in a grey area. The sex workers themselves are not the ones who will be sentenced, instead, it is the procurer (the person who sources the sex workers). This may seem obscure, however, in Spain, a large portion of the sex workers are in fact victims of human trafficking.
Brothels became illegal in Spain in the late 1950s, however, most of them operate and function as normal, loosely disguised as “clubs” or “whiskerias”.
What are the Police Doing?
Due to the laws, The Police are only often there to ensure that the workers’ residency paperwork is legitimate and that the workers are not below the legal age limit.
It is worth noting that in the Valenciana Region, the client will also be fined or sentenced for using an illegal worker.
What is Happening in Spain?
It doesn’t carry the stigma like other countries. It is not uncommon to come across workers across Spain. Gran Via in Madrid and Las Ramblas in Barcelona both have major hotspots for finding workers. Although there may seem a sense of acceptability, it is a major global issue. Spanish organisations, like Mujer Emancipada, are working to end human trafficking in Spain.
What is Happening in Benidorm?
In Benidorm, workers are being used as a lure. The reason for this is to steal from foreign tourists. The workers operate around the tourism hotspots late at night. They are known to target the vulnerable, whether that be those who appear to be under the influence, or just somebody who seems to be alone or an easy target.
What Should I Do?
It’s quite right that you’re alarmed. But, don’t cancel your holiday just yet. Over 10 million people visit Benidorm each year, and the majority of these have no problems, at all.
Do not get involved: Cross the road. Stay clear. Do not engage in conversation.
Do not argue: Walk away. Some may try to engage in conversation or shout profanities. Ignore it and move on.
Avoid being alone late at night: Do not make yourself a target. If you are spending the night in Benidorm, do not separate yourself from your group.
Do not fund the issue: Hiring exploited workers directly funds activities.
If you are a victim, please ensure you make a denuncia at the local police station.
Street prostitution in Spain is illegal. There are workers operating in the hotspots of Benidorm so remember to be vigilant and exercise caution.
It is also worth noting that I have been visiting since 2012 and I have never encountered a worker. Not everybody will encounter one and the majority will not cause you any problems, at all. Follow these tips and you will have a fantastic holiday in Benidorm.
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