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Experts urge action to curb prostitution problems in Canaries 

Between 2,000 and 3,000 women are currently engaged in prostitution in the Canaries and are facing greater dangers than ever before.

This is one of the findings of a study made last year and led by the expert in the subject and professor at the University of La Laguna, Esther Torrado.

Despite the economic crisis, the number of women turning to prostitution has not diminished and more are actually returning to their old trade than ever before.

“All of this has meant that in recent years the conditions in which prostitution has developed have deteriorated, with greater insecurity and vulnerability for those who are forced to exercise it and with higher risk conditions,” the professor has told leading Spanish newspaper Diario de Avisos.

Her study looks at the reality of women who practise prostitution in the islands, as well as the men who demand this service and the professionals who work to help women.

This is the first phase of a work that, it is expected, will continue throughout this year in order to develop a document which gives strategies on how to deal with the issue.

Although the number of women engaged in prostitution in the Canaries is estimated at up to 3,000, the real figure could be substantially higher because many of them are “hidden” ie carrying out their trade in their own flats.

The report says the vast majority of women are prostitutes because of economic necessity or because they are forced to do so.

Most work in the tourist areas or in the cities of Santa Cruz and Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. In the case of the south of Tenerife, clients travel in by car and the experts want action to stop this happening.

Many municipalities in Spain have introduced fines to stop prostitutes touting in public open spaces.