STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
PROSTITUTION needs to become a legal, properly monitored practice, said Fina Santiago, the regional Minister for Social Affairs, yesterday.
Santiago added though that the decision did not lie with the Balearic government but is one which has to be taken at a national level. The Minister said that the problem of prostitution had its roots in persisting inequality between men and women and that it is a social condition which is bred out of poverty and marginalisation.

Speaking at a conference on street prostitution at the Official College of Lawyers in the Balearics, Santiago said that it was up to Madrid to take the lead in establishing a series of laws to govern the conditions under which prostitution can be practiced. The Minister said that such norms would guarantee the health and economic rights of those who were practicing the trade in Spain.

Santiago also pointed out that the United Nations and the European Union maintain that prostitution should be legalised as an accepted economic activity but only under circumstances where the prostitute “is not linked to a business which is promoting her services.” The Minister accused town councils in the Balearics who prohibited prostitution on the streets of contravening the mandates of both these organisations, forcing prostitutes who depend on their profession for their livelihood to resort to the third party services of “clubs and pimps.”

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