For good reason, the country of Spain is sometimes dubbed the ‘Brothel of Europe’.
Spain is the second largest destination for human trafficking in Europe. There are 300,000 prostituted women in Spain and according to the 2013 Trafficking Persons Report, 90 percent of them are forced into it.
Europe’s largest brothel has opened its doors in Catalunya, Spain. With 2,700 square meters of floor space, 80 private rooms and some 160 women available, the owners of the brothel boast that it is the largest in Europe.
All of this wouldn’t be possible without this alarming 2007 statistic that between 900,000 and 1,500,000 purchases of sex every day in Spain—a nation of 47,000,000 people. What’s more, tourist cities like Barcelona attract and cater to visitors for whom purchasing sex is an expected part of their nightlife. Some tourist websites even go so far as promoting prostitution as a selling point.
According to a 2012 U.S. Department of State report, 90 percent of prostituted women in Spain are controlled by organized crime networks. The report cites “Barcelona…increasingly [serves as a base of operations] for Chinese sex trafficking networks and Nigerian and Albanian trafficking groups.”
The country also serves as a destination and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. These victims originate from Eastern Europe, Latin America, East Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.