Residents of the Avenidas district in Palma have complained that the new midnight curfew set by the Balearic Government has forced prostitutes to change their hours to avoid being fined.
"Prostitutes in the Avenidas are offering sexual services from 18:00 and the worst thing is that they’re doing it in front of children and teenagers,” said one resident.
"We understand that they are victims of networks that extort them and in many cases force them to have sex for money. They are controlled at all times by their pimps and the violence they're subjected to is worrying,” claimed another resident.
Neighbours say they are terrified and that the women work in groups of three or four and divide the area between them.
"It is very common to see them fighting at two or three o'clock in the morning because one of them has lowered their prices," said a local.
Despite the restrictions, locals say some prostitutes and their clients are willing to risk being caught and repeatedly violate the curfew, using doorways or garages in the area to ply their trade.
Palma City Council data shows that prostitution is increasing significantly.
In 2019, Médicos del Mundo, Casal Petit and Cruz Roja provided assistance to 1,732 people, 9.2% more than the previous year and 96% of those treated were women, 3% were transgender and 1% men.
Of those who used the services of the Red Cross, Casal Petit and Médicos del Mundo, 49% were from Latin America, 19% from EU countries, 18% from Africa, 5% from Asia and 7% were Spanish. Nigeria, Colombia, Brazil, Spain and the Dominican Republic are the most common countries of origin.