Monday, July 4

The PSOE proposes to toughen the penalties for trafficking crimes originating in the war in Ukraine

The PSOE wants to modify the Criminal Code to toughen sentences for human trafficking committed in the context of the war in Ukraine. The Socialist Group is going to register this Wednesday a bill to include an aggravating circumstance in the punishments of this type of crimes committed on victims of the war conflict. The idea is that the modification has a validity of 18 months once the norm enters into force after being approved in the Cortes, where they intend that the initiative be processed urgently, although its admission cannot be debated at least until the end of April .

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The Socialists, who alone take this initiative to Congress without the participation of United We Can, propose a modification of article 177 bis of the Penal Code, which is the one that establishes sentences of between five and eight years in prison for those convicted of human trafficking. humans that occurs in Spanish territory. The bill proposes to incorporate among the aggravating factors for the highest degree penalty (a range of eight years and one day up to twelve years in prison) those cases in which “the victim is a person whose situation of vulnerability has been caused or aggravated due to the armed conflict motivated by the invasion of the Ukrainian territory that began on February 24, 2022 by troops of the Russian Federation”.

The explanatory statement of the text, to which has had access, refers to the “humanitarian disaster with disastrous consequences, with millions of Ukrainians displaced throughout Europe” that the Russian invasion is leaving behind. “These people who have had to leave their country in terrible circumstances, due to this bloody armed conflict, are exposed to situations of extreme vulnerability, especially displaced women, girls and boys in the face of human traffickers, who have already have been detected stalking those people”, reads the proposal. “Given these circumstances, it is appropriate to approve a Criminal Law Proposal with temporary validity that conveniently increases the penalties provided for crimes of trafficking in human beings,” concludes the text, which is also based on the European directive that urged ” establish severe penal sanctions for the crimes of trafficking”.

During his speech in Congress after the speech by the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski, Pedro Sánchez placed special emphasis on the protection of refugees who arrive in European countries or who are displaced within Ukraine. “It is, without a doubt, a tragedy of colossal dimensions. Ukraine can be certain that Spain will be up to the task, because Spain always responds to challenges like this and that is why we will provide the necessary resources to welcome Ukrainian refugees in our country, as long as it is necessary. We are already doing it in the four centers that we are setting up in Madrid, in Barcelona, ​​in the city of Alicante, the next one in Malaga, which is going to open this week, and what we are going to continue rolling out over the next few months”, Sánchez has promised.

Socialist sources maintain that the situation that is taking place in Ukraine justifies a penal modification on a temporary basis to try to increase the guarantees of women, boys and girls who are victims of the war. The PSOE leadership has addressed this proposal with United We Can, which has chosen not to register it jointly, according to those same sources.

The comprehensive trafficking law that the Government intends to approve this year is becoming a new source of conflict within the coalition after the Ministry of Justice has announced that it is beginning the procedures to prepare it, while the department headed by Irene Montero was already advancing on the draft. The 2022 Annual Regulatory Plan attributes this organic standard to the Ministry of Equality with the participation of Justice, Interior and Inclusion, Social Security and Migration as co-proponents. However, the intention of the Socialists is that Pilar Llop assumes the bulk of the proposal while Irene Montero addresses the issues related to Equality. In the background lies the conflict between the PSOE and the rest of the formations that support the Government regarding the abolition of prostitution.