The prostitutes in Ibiza, Spain just scored a huge win for their chosen profession. They just formed the first union for prostitutes in the country named The Sex Services Cooperative of Spain (Sealeer Co-operative).
Although prostitution is not legal in Spain, the sex workers will now be able to enjoy the benefits of having a pension and health care. The street walkers will also be able to pay taxes, get work permits, and get their first credit cards. According to reports, there are about 3,000 sex workers on the Spanish island of Ibiza. Of those 3,000, 11 are apart of the prostitutes union and 40 more have applied to be apart of it. It should be noted that all of the sex workers applying for the union are women, as there are male prostitutes in Spain as well.
The union’s president Maria Jose Lopez Arnesto, a housewife who doubles as the organization’s spokesperson said, “We are the first collective in Spain that can give legal cover to the girls.”
While the union has yet to be approved by the government in Spain, Jaime Roig, a lawyer and legal advisor to Sealeer Cooperative says it’s only a matter of time before the union gets government approval. “To my understanding, this should not be a problem and for once the administration should admit and accept the pure reality known as the oldest profession in the world.”
You may be asking how can there be a prostitution union if prostitution isn’t legal in Spain. Well, prostitution s neither legal or illegal. There is a loophole in the law where these women are classified as massage therapists. The union helps those women whose clients skip out on payment and those who are abused by their male clients.
Obviously, there is some opposition to the sex worker union. A Spanish conservative Catholic website Hazeteoir.com is totally against the union. President of the site Ignacio Arsuaga Rato is against the union because he believes sex workers “don’t have the real freedom to choose.”
However, the government might want to legalize prostitution because according to a 2007 report, an estimated 500, 000 women work as prostitutes in Spain. 1.5 million men pay for sex in Spain per day. That 54 billion dollars a year, which is equivalent to Spain’s education budget.
We shall see if the government approves of the sex workers union.
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