2012/04/07

Women Enslaved by Spain’s Brothel Tourism Boom - NYTimes.com

Women Enslaved by Spain’s Brothel Tourism Boom - NYTimes.com

Organized crime trafficking in women is an old, sad story, and a job for more effective police work against the traffickers. The newer factor — well, not really new, but more frequent in Europe than a couple of decades ago — is the flocking of young men to brothels for what they seem to consider as innocent entertainment. This goes beyond the policing problem. It increases the demand for and thus the profitability of the brothels, and thus the incentive for kidnapping or otherwise inducing young women into sexual servitude, and thus explodes the problem beyond any reasonable policing capacity.

Obviously what is needed is greater economic opportunities for women not just in Spain but in the countries where they're recruited, but those aren't coming in the foreseeable future. Also, it would require effective action Europe-wide, or even worldwide (Africans, Asians and Latin Americans are among the victims), an overwhelming task in current conditions. A more realizable goal: greater opportunities (shelter, education, jobs, asylum) for those women who manage to break free here in Spain. That's something we can press for here, in Spain, where it will fall under the authority of regional governments (the national government is not likely to see it as its problem). That'll be tough in Catalonia (where La Jonquera is), with that region's conservative government and the deep budget cuts, but it can be a mobilizing cause for the left groups there (IU, ERC, PSC). Not much to hope for, but it's the best that occurs to me right now.


2 comments:

Dirk van Nouhuys said...

Would laws like those in France and Holland, where (over simplifying) prostitution is legal but pimping is not help?

gef said...

Actually that is the policy in Spain, but NOT in France: prostitution is legal but pimping is not. As reported here in Spain (El País) and in this NYT article, prostitution is not legal in France, which is why the boys come to Spain. The problem in Spain is getting the young women to testify against the pimps — they're too tightly controlled and scared.