An offer to refuse

Spain’s and other Mediterranean countries’ economic situations has caused an increase in unemployment. Last summer, you could see ad posters in the Spanish port town Valencia. The ad suggested a “profitable path away from unemployment” and encourages the person to sign up as soon as possible. For 100 Euro, Spanish women (and men) are offered a “professional training course in prostitution”. The course contained theory and practical briefings. After the course is over, the participants are guaranteed a job right away.

In one episode of the radio show Studio Ett on P1, people can listen to a prostitute and a brothel-owner’s view on the connection unemployment has with prostitution. The female prostitute, “Paula”, is portrayed as a happy woman who found prostitution to be a profitable way to pay off her debts. Today she appears as a prominent advocate of prostitution.

However, the show does not address the other side of the coin, who controls demand. The sex buyers and their responsibility. Who are they? How do they think? What’s the consequences going to be like when more and more Spanish women “choose” prostitution as a way to get work? These questions are completely ignored and the show’s stance on prostitution seems surprisingly encouraging.

Prostitution is legal in Spain, just like in many other European countries, provided that it is voluntary. Human trading however is illegal. At the same time there is a gap in the Trafficking legislation which excludes the responsibility of the sex buyer and one can wonder if prostitution really is something a person does voluntarily.

Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?” is a new study which further shows that prostitution and trafficking go together and that a legislation like the Swedish one reduces human trade.

It’s easy to live in the “Swedish bubble” which is why it is so important that the situation in other countries are observed more. This further underlines our important work; that there is plenty of change needed in Europe and RealStars is really needed.

Erla Andersson för RealStars