“If you’re a client you’re paying for slavery”, police tell prostitution users in a video the force put out on Wednesday to coincide with the International Day against Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Women and Children.
It is one of the bluntest messages in a police campaign aimed at raising awareness that more than 80 per cent of the women who work as prostitutes in Spain are victims of trafficking.
🚩Más del 80% de las mujeres prostituidas en #España lo hacen forzadas
El dinero de los clientes hace que las víctimas sean obligadas a prostituirse
Si eres cliente, pagas por una esclava#SinClientesNoHayTrata #DíaInternacionalContraLaExplotaciónSexualYLaTrataDePersonas pic.twitter.com/q6MoFDT6NA
— Policía Nacional (@policia) September 23, 2020
According to the police these are women in situations of extreme need who are snared by mafias in their home countries on the promise of a decent job in Spain.
To gain access to this supposed new life they hand over large amounts of money, sometimes everything they have. But when they get to Spain the criminal groups tell them they have a large debt to them and must sell their bodies to pay it off.
The police explained the campaign is an appeal to prostitution clients, “warning them that their money makes the victims forced to prostitute themselves for years to pay off the debt to the criminal organisations.
“Sexual exploitation is a crime which generates millions both in Spain and at international level, making it one of the most profitable illicit businesses, comparable only to drugs and arms”, the police pointed out.
Last year National Police carried out 515 operations related to sexual exploitation and human trafficking for the purposes of sextual exploitation.
As a result they liberated 921 trafficking victims, 896 of them women, and made 481 arrests.
In the first eight months of this year there were 333 similar police operations.
In some of the cases police came across victims who were underage and who had also been captured by organisations of pimps.
The police also reminded the public they can call 900 105 090 or email [email protected] to report any information they might have about human trafficking cases. Both options are free and confidential, the police stressed, and are directly managed by specialist officers.
Public collaboration via these channels has in recent years “been key” in investigations related to this kind of crime and in the liberation of victims, the police said.
The campaign video has gone out on the police profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram with the hashtag #SinClientesNoHayTrata.
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