Sex workers in Spain to pay taxes

2014-01-16 05:30
Prostitutes in the Spanish tourist island Ibiza have formed a sex workers' cooperative to pay taxes and gain social security benefits - the first such group legally registered in Spain. (Raymond Roig, AFP)

Prostitutes in the Spanish tourist island Ibiza have formed a sex workers' cooperative to pay taxes and gain social security benefits - the first such group legally registered in Spain. (Raymond Roig, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Madrid - Prostitutes in the Spanish tourist island Ibiza have formed a sex workers' co-operative to pay taxes and gain social security benefits - the first such group legally registered in Spain, they say.

Eleven women registered with local authorities as working members of the Sealeer Co-operative providing sexual services, said their spokesperson, Maria Jose Lopez.

"We are pioneers," she told AFP. "We are the first co-operative in Spain that can give legal cover to the girls."

The 11 active sex workers who registered in November are women in their 20s and 30s from Spain, Italy and "the East", she said, declining to elaborate.

The group is applying to register 40 more women as members.

A 42-year-old local housewife, Lopez is not a sex worker herself but registered as a member of Sealeer to act as a voluntary representative for the women, who refuse to speak to reporters.

Like any workers' co-operative, Sealeer members declare their income and pay taxes, which entitles them to public healthcare, a pension and other benefits.

A parliamentary report on prostitution in 2007 said Spaniards spent €50m a day on prostitutes, of which it estimated there were 400 000 working in the country - the latest such figures available.

In Ibiza, whose sweltering beaches draw millions of foreign tourists every year, "prostitution moves a huge amount of money in summer", in hostess bars and in private apartments, Lopez said.

"Just as they regulate the hotels and restaurants to make sure all the workers are registered, they should also see that the girls are comfortable and legalised."

Tolerated

Prostitution is neither illegal nor regulated nationwide in Spain but the government in November unveiled a new civil security bill that would fine people for picking up prostitutes near schools.

Authorities in Barcelona have introduced fines for picking up prostitutes in the street and Madrid is planning to do the same.

The co-operative "is a way to give the women independence from the gangs of pimps, for women who choose to exercise this profession", said Gloria Poyatos, a former employment lawyer who advised the prostitutes in Ibiza.

"I think that something is changing. A debate in society is beginning on whether or not to regulate prostitution," said Poyatos, who is now a judge in the Canary Islands.

Prostitutes can register as workers in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands and in some cases claim social benefits.

Despite prostitution being tolerated in practice in Spain, the issue is divisive.

"In this case we are talking about a minority of prostitutes with supposed liberty, but in reality in most cases they do not have real freedom to choose," said Ignacio Arsuaga, the president of HazteOir, a conservative pressure group, in an e-mail to AFP.

"Regulating prostitution is harmful for victims who are exploited, for sexual slaves."

Read more on:    spain
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

24 hour sale – Up to 70% off

Its black Friday, save up to 70% on a wide range of awesome products at kalahari.com. Offers valid while stocks last. T&C’s apply. Shop now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.