It may not be as lucrative as the drug trade or arms trafficking, but Spain’s illegal sex industry is worth an unhealthy amount of money with police revealing it generates around €5 million a day.
Because of the “magnitude and severity of the problem", authorities are to undertake a campaign aimed at raising the awareness of illegal trafficking of women for the sex trade which is estimated to leave 12,000 victims each year in Spain.
In early March The Local reported how Spanish police had broken up a prostitution ring that operated six large brothels staffed with about 400 women and chalked up more than a million euros a year in earnings.
Spanish authorities froze assets belonging to the suspects, including 57 homes, 56 cars and a boat, worth over €14 million
“Communication campaigns are an indispensable way of raising public awareness in the fight against this type of crime,” read a statement by police.
Documentary maker Mabel Lozano, well known for highlighting social issues, has been commissioned to make two programmes aimed at the general public the other at potential victims.
Through the campaign police hope to show the criminal process in the sex trade from the recruitment of people for exploitation to the point where they are sold to a pimp or criminal gang.
Videos will be circulated by police through social media channels.
The campaign is the result of close cooperation between the police force and several NGOs and charities who work with victims of the sex trade. On Friday The Director General of Police Cosido Ignacio met with representatives from groups including Project Hope and the Spanish Catholic Commission for Migration.