Traffickers’ Assets to Be Seized in Spain
Monday, January 26, 2009 2:34 PM

The Spanish Government announced a plan on 12 December 2008 to combat trafficking in persons which will allow for the immediate seizure of assets of those convicted of involvement in trafficking. The Plan Integral de Lucha contra la Trata de Seres Humanos con fines de explotación sexual (Integral Plan to Combat Human Trafficking for the Purposes of Sexual Exploitation) is geared toward a “zero tolerance” policy on trafficking and includes measures guaranteeing victims the right to social and legal assistance, combating trafficking, and coordination, prevention and training.

The Plan requires changing the Spanish criminal code and other legislative reforms, so it will not go into effect immediately. One important change is that victims will be able to testify against their traffickers before trial, but will not be required to testify again at trial. It is hoped that this measure will encourage witnesses to testify and discourage the withdrawal of testimony. Another new provision allows victims to receive social and legal assistance for at least 30 days before reporting their trafficker or pimp, rather than the current law which requires immediate reporting to avoid deportation from the country.

The Government will allocate 44 million Euros to fund the Plan over three years, which came into force on 1 January 2009. Continued funding will come from seized assets.


Compiled from: Drago, Tito, Spain: Human Traffickers’ Assets to Be Seized, IPS News, 12 December 2008; Aprobado el Plan Integral de Lucha contra la Trata de Seres Humanos con fines de explotación sexual, Gobierno de España, last accessed 26 January 2009.