The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
More than 40.000 signatures support an online petition in favour of a law that fights against mafias, penalises the customer of prostitution and protects women. “Spain is the third country of the world in consumption of prostitution”.
Prostitution in Spain is in an unregulated limbo that has provoked that thousands of women become victims of trafficking.
After several years of fighting to raise public awareness, as well as informing political groups about how other countries are facing this issue, the Christian association 'Esclavitud XXI' (Slavery XXI) says the country must develop a law against human trafficking as soon as possible.
In the last weeks, an online petition launched by the director of documentaries Mabel Lozano, has focused on the government´s unfulfilled promise.
“The Minister of justice told me in the premiere of our film “The pimp” about her personal commitment of presenting a law against trafficking, but it seems that they are not willing to do it”, explained Mabel Lozano.
And added: “I know they are working on a draft, but they have only said that they will develop a motion, which in reality is nothing”.
“In Spain there is not any integral protection to the women, and the crime of sexual exploitation is not really persecuted”, complaint the director of several documentaries about sexual exploitation in Spain.
Slavery XXI, an association promoted by the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, is supporting this initiative that has about 45.000 signatures already.
Its President, Daniel Banegas, explained to Spanish news website Protestante Dígital why it is important to develop a law against human trafficking in Spain.
Question. Why would be important to approve a specific law against human trafficking?
Answer. A specific law against human trafficking would allow a more effective fight against mafias, a better protection of the victims and also the abolition of a practice that denigrates and exploits specially women.
A law like the petition that Mabel Lozano proposes, which punishes the customer of prostitution, but not the girl who practises it (in the line of waht we have been doing for years), has been applied in Sweden since 1999 and it is now also present in countries like Norway, Iceland, France, Iceland, Canada, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea or Northern Ireland.
Focusing on Sweden: Since the application of this law, the Nordic country is the European country with less trafficked girls. The Swedish police has taped mafias´ telephone conversations where they complain because human trafficking isn’t profitable for them, and they take big risks when they do it.
Additionally, social conscience has grown, specially among young people, who believe that paying to have sex is not good. Therefore, the demand of paid sex and the human trafficking have declined.
In the opposite side, there are countries like Holland, which have decided to legalise prostitution, trying to protect the women who practice it, but this law has led to the increase of demand and the increase of human trafficking.
That is why the mayor of Amsterdam in 2007, Job Cohen, closed a third of the red neighbourhood’s brothels, to try to stop organized crime (and we speak here about legal prostitution).
For all these reasons, we want Spain to approve an abolitionist law and we encourage all readers, not only to sign this petition, but also to spread it in all social media they have (Whatsapp, Instagram, e- mail, Facebook). The more signatures we collect, the more we will pressure both the Government and the different parties.
Q. Which aspects of human trafficking are still unknown to the politicians and the citizens?
A. People continue to believe the myth that most women practice prostitution because they want to do it, and they are women who enjoy sex and they want to earn money doing the work they like most. So, it would only be necessary to intervene only in those few cases when the girls have been trafficked.
Many also believe the myths that most customers are not attractive and with few social skills, and their only option to have sex is paying for it, or that those men who cannot vent their sexual impulse with a prostitute, will be forced to rape a women.
It is also believed that these things only happen in the other side of the world. The reality is Spain is the third country of the world in consumption of prostitution, one of the major countries of transit and destination of the sexual exploitation in Europe (some serious studies show that 90% women who practise prostitution in Spain are victims of human trafficking)
Additionally, the majority of the customers are married men or they have a couple and they are increasingly younger.
These women are literally brought and sold, cheated, threatened, deceived and raped. We have to be able to look beyond a spectacular girl who shows herself with a smile.
Q. How does Slavery XXI fight against human trafficking in the last years?
A. We have presented our abolitionist draft to different politic groups, with the 8,300 signatures that we got when we issued that initiative.
At the same time, we supporting other initiatives or manifestos which also aim to change this situation, in order to add the maximum of efforts.
In addition to this pressure, we are raising awareness about this issue, specially in schools, because teenagers are the future potential customers, they are a key population, whose mentality can be changed.
We also focus on the victims assistance carried out by that other associations with which we are collaborating.
The petition can be signed in Change.org