Platform of Affected by the Abolition of Prostitution

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Last September the platform #Stop Abolition or, what is the same, the Platform of Affected by the Abolition of Prostitution was founded.

Four months earlier, on May 22, 2022, the Socialist Parliamentary Group in the Congress of Deputies had presented Law Proposal 122/000224, called "Proposal of the Organic Law that modifies the LO 10/1995, of November 23, of the Penal Code, to prohibit pimping in all its forms".

With the presentation of this legislative proposal, the PSOE took a step forward to fulfill what is one of the main points of its electoral program: the abolition of prostitution in our country.

In order to approve the proposal in plenary session of Congress, the PSOE had the votes in favor of the Popular Party , as well as that of some members of Unidas Podemos .

Within United We Can, as within feminism, there is no unanimous position on whether or not an abolitionist policy on the provision of sexual services for money is convenient. There are those who are committed to abolishing prostitution and there are those who, on the contrary, advocate regulating it.

In the next section we are going to see what are the most outstanding aspects of the proposition presented by the socialists and which many people, in an excessively reductionist way, have called the Trafficking Law .

abolition prostitution

Proposed Law for the Abolition of Prostitution in Spain: content

The main objective of the legislative proposal presented by the PSOE and approved by the Plenary of the Congress of Deputies is to modify two articles of the Penal Code. Those two articles are 187 and 189 ter.

In the preamble to the aforementioned proposition it is stated that it is intended to articulate "the necessary penal response" to acts of pimping. For this, it is pointed out, the exploitation relationship will not be required.

The penalization of locative third party , which is also described as a "specific modality of pimping", is also noted in said explanatory statement.

The explanatory statement also states that clients of prostitution make its existence possible, which is described as a "serious violation of human rights". For this reason, the criminal punishment of clients is pursued through this law.

In summary, what proposition 122/000224 promotes is not only to punish whoever uses violence and intimidation against sex workers, but also seeks to penalize whoever regularly and for profit allocates a place to practice it. prostitution. That is precisely what the term locative third party refers to.

In this regard, the bill states that "whoever for profit and habitually allocates a property, premises or establishment, open or not to the public, or any other space, to promote, favor or facilitate the prostitution of another person, even with their consent, will be punished with imprisonment from two to four years and a fine from eighteen to twenty-four months".

Clients and consumers of paid sex, for their part, will be punished with a fine of between twelve and twenty-four months. If the person who performs the act of a sexual nature is a minor or a person in a vulnerable situation, the penalty to be imposed will be imprisonment of one to three years, as well as a fine of between 24 and 48 months.

The bill determines that "in no case will the person who provides sexual services in exchange for money be penalized."

These are, in summary, the main points of the bill for the Abolition of Prostitution in Spain approved by the Congress of Deputies. It is against them that the #Stop Abolition Platform protests. We are going to talk about their actions and their arguments in the next section.

stop abolition

Platform of People Affected by the Abolition of Prostitution: arguments against the law

On the occasion of the founding of the Platform for People Affected by Abolition , its president, Susana Pastor , explained at a press conference the reasons why Stop Abolition is against said proposition.

According to Pastor, the Prostitution Law would push sex workers into hiding and to practice their profession on the street or in insecure apartments.

Another of the arguments put forward by the platform is that the entry into force of a law of these characteristics would force prostitutes to lower rates. On the other hand, they maintain, their bargaining power with customers will be less. These, by taking more risks, will demand more from the hired girls.

Not being able to have premises or rooms for rent in which to provide sexual services will also force sex workers to go to the clients' homes, which will also increase their insecurity.

In the press conference in which the reasons for being of the platform were exposed, its president pointed out that the legislative proposal promoted by the Socialist Party is based on two "false premises". The first consists of affirming that between 80 and 90% of the women who practice prostitution do so under conditions of trafficking, which the platform denies.

The second false premise, according to #Stop Abolition, is that it is not true either, as is stated among those who defend an abolitionist policy, that any paid sexual exchange has to do with trafficking or pimping .

For the Platform of Affected by Abolition, the law currently in force already allows prosecution of both crimes. The problem, they say, is that it is not applied correctly.

Susana Pastor concluded her press conference by requesting the Government to receive the Platform so that, jointly, a commission is created to allow a law of rights on prostitution to be carried out. The objective, Pastor pointed out, would be to approve a law similar to the one currently in force in New Zealand.

Prostitution Law

Concentration before Congress and against the Law on Prostitution

One of the first acts of the Platform of people affected by the abolition was to gather in front of the door of the Congress of Deputies to request the withdrawal of the Law proposal 122/000224.

In this concentration, in which more than 4,000 people participated, shouts of "We want to work", "We are not criminals" or "We do not want you to save us" were heard, among others. On the banner that opened the concentration the slogan "We want to be heard in the Commission. Sex work is work" could be read.

On the platform's website, its members are "free women who have freely decided to carry out a job whose dignity we defend."

In its manifesto before the celebration of March 8 , the #Stop Abolition Platform affirmed that the abolition of prostitution is violence against women, social violence, institutional violence and political violence. And she added: "as women we are masters of our will and our bodies."

Finally, and through its manifesto, the platform stressed: "nobody, no morality police, has to tell us how we should exercise our freedom and how our lives should be."

sex work