U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Spain

Spain (Tier 1)

Spain is a destination and transit country for persons trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and, to a lesser degree, forced labor. Victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation come primarily from Romania, Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Nigeria, Ecuador, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. Spain is a transit country for victims destined for Portugal, France, and Germany. Victims trafficked into forced labor are primarily found in the agricultural, construction and domestic sectors.

The Government of Spain fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government has continued its aggressive campaign of tracking and dismantling trafficking networks. Victims received quality assistance, protection, and rehabilitation services. The city of Madrid launched a demand reduction initiative with an emphasis on the responsibility of the clients and the rights of victims. The government began to implement new anti-trafficking legislation. Police and the courts have begun to make full use of a 2003 law to impose tougher sentences on traffickers and deter additional potential trafficking crimes. Although the government was not able as yet to provide full data on investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, the Secretary of State has determined that it has made a good faith effort to do so. The government's segregation of smuggling and trafficking statistics is commendable.


During the reporting period, the Spanish Government continued its vigorous efforts to investigate trafficking crimes and arrest traffickers. The government handed down longer sentences using the new 2003 law, though use of an older law with attendant weaker sentences continued for offenses committed before the new law was enacted. The average sentence imposed using the new law was approximately 5.7 years, while convictions under the older law resulted in an average sentence of approximately 2.4 years. In February 2005, the government modified its Aliens Law to include specific guidelines for providing assistance to victims. The Spanish National Police continued its proactive investigation of criminal networks and reported 194 networks for sexual exploitation dismantled, with 731 traffickers arrested in 2004. Additionally, the police reported 91 networks for forced labor dismantled, with 233 traffickers arrested during the year. The police also reported dismantling 62 false document and 45 fraud networks related to trafficking. Productive bilateral cooperation with other governments continued.


Police identified 1,717 victims of sexual exploitation and 797 victims of forced labor trafficking during 2004. The police continued to refer victims to government-financed NGOs for counseling, shelter, rehabilitation, and reintegration. In February 2005, the government modified its Aliens Law, making it easier for trafficking victims to obtain residency permits. Reported increased cooperation between the government and NGOs resulted in more effective training and information exchanges.

Spain continued to provide specialized training to law enforcement agencies via an NGO; specialized training became mandatory for police candidates to become inspectors.


In 2004, the government successfully initiated two anti-trafficking awareness programs. In March 2004, the Madrid city government began enforcement of its anti-prostitution and anti-trafficking campaign through increased police presence in targeted zones. In July 2004, the city of Madrid launched an extensive publicity campaign to prevent trafficking and discourage potential clients with posters and advertisements in the media and on city buses. The government continued its efforts to improve interagency coordination. The Ministry of Interior coordinated anti-trafficking programs and managed workgroups on trafficking. Regional police conducted quarterly reviews of their anti-trafficking efforts and a police intelligence unit continued to monitor trafficking trends.


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