Friday's presentation of the report - Sonia Vivas (left) with Lourdes de la Cruz. | Ajuntament de Palma

A report prepared for Palma town hall warns that 17% of women engaged in prostitution in the city are victims of human trafficking. In real terms, this means 227 women, the percentage having risen by four per cent since the previous report in 2019.

Sonia Vivas, Palma's councillor for social justice, feminism and LGTBI, says that the fact that almost one in five women are in this situation emphasises "the need to take actions that help women in the future and to eradicate this problem". At Friday's presentation of the report, the councillor urged other institutions to continue working on achieving this.

The majority of trafficking victims are women between the ages of 25 and 34 and predominantly from Nigeria, Colombia and China. Most of these women, the report notes, practise prostitution in flats, "which renders the victims invisible".

There is, the report adds, difficulty in confirming cases of human trafficking. This is due to the lack of protection guarantees in the event that women report their situation to the authorities. The victims "fear" trafficking networks and the control these networks exercise over them.

Sonia Vivas stressed that human trafficking "is a serious crime that violates human rights". "It is a form of slavery that turns people into mere merchandise and is a reality that has now acquired worrying dimensions."