Spanish court rules union of sex workers illegal

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s National Court has outlawed a union of sex workers, saying that recognition of the group amounted to making the exploitation of prostitutes legal.

Wednesday’s ruling agreed with two women’s rights groups that filed a lawsuit against the OTRAS sex workers’ organization. The groups argued that the unionizing move amounted to a legal recognition of pimping.

Spain’s Socialist government, which has laid a feminist agenda and advocates outrooting prostitution altogether, admitted in August that it approved OTRAS’ official registration as a union by mistake.

Prostitution is unregulated in Spain. There is no punishment for those who offer paid sexual services out of their own will as long as it’s not in public spaces, with laws focused instead on combating human trafficking.