Public Opinion is Clear: Urgent Legislation Required to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation! Read the story


The Federacion de Asociaciones para la Prevencion del Maltrato Infantil (FAPMI) was formed in 1990. FAPMI is part of the Spanish Child Observatory for children and is a full member of various Groups of Work and National Commissions regarding Child Mistreatment, Sexual Child Tourism, Sexual Exploitation or Juvenile Justice. FAPMI was co-founder and has a chair in the Directive Board of the Spanish Platform for Children, working on the promotion of the Rights of Children, which made very important contributions to the UN Study on Violence Against Children.

The Federacion de Asociaciones para la Prevencion del Maltrato Infantil (FAPMI) / ECPAT Spain

Contact: Ms. Alejandra Pascual Franch
Phone: 34 91 4682662
Address: C/. Delicias 8, entreplanta, 28045 Madrid, Spain


Spain is a destination, source and transit country for children subjected to trafficking for sexual purposes. In 2015, relevant authorities identified 169 trafficking victims, 65 of whom were trafficked for sexual purposes in Spain. Unaccompanied migrant children are particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon.

In 2015, the Office of the Prosecutor investigated 344 cases of sexual and/or labour exploitation and two individuals were convicted of child sex trafficking and sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment. In 2016, the Spanish government identified an increased number of trafficking victims and maintained funding for victim assistance.

In 2016, the government updated its national anti-trafficking action plan, increased public awareness campaigns aimed at preventing trafficking in persons and provided specialised training on the issue of trafficking for sexual purposes to law enforcement officials.

Children in Spain are also victims of sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. Perpetrators include among others nationals on vacation and men on business trips.


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News from Spain


Age of Consent


Age of sexual consent is 16 years. An exemption from liability has been provided, as long as the young person has provided free consent, there is no violence or intimidation, and that the other person is close in age or at the same level of physical and psychological maturity (art. 183 and 183 quater).

Penal Code as amended by Ley Orgánica 1/2015, 2021

Extraterritoriality & Extradition


Active and passive extraterritoriality is recognized for SEC related offences but depending on certain conditions (the investigation can only be initiated if the victim or the Public Prosecutor file a lawsuit before a Spanish Court). In these cases the principle of double criminality does not apply.

SEC related offences might be considered extraditable crimes in the different extradition treaties ratified by Spain with the requirement that all extraditable crimes should be punished with at least one year of imprisonment. Double criminality is required for extradition.

SEC offences are referred to as extraditable under the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) framework within the EU without requiring double criminality if the act is punishable by a maximum period of at least three years of imprisonment in the requesting State.

Organic Law of the Judicial Power, arts. 23.4(k) and 23.6., Passive Extradition Law arts. 2 and 3, 2014, 1985 (status of 2009)

CSAM Definition


The national legislation provides a definition which is partially in line with international standards. The definition provided does not include non-visual material. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office (Circular 2/2015), images representing a person who appears to be a child and digitally-generated child sexual abuse material are included in the legal definition.

Penal Code as amended by Ley Orgánica 1/2015, 2021

Background Check Required


There is a mandatory provision for criminal background checks for any person applying for work with children. This requirement specifically applies to volunteers. Moreover, the legislation prohibits businesses and employers to employ convicted offenders of sexual crimes and trafficking for jobs in close contact with children.

Ley Organica 8/2021, 2021

National Commitments


Spain has ratified the CRC, the OPSC, the OPIC, the Trafficking Protocol and the ILO Convention No. 182.

Spain has also ratified the Council of Europe’s Lanzarote and Budapest Conventions.

Spain has not ratified the UNWTO Framework Convention on Tourism Ethics.


Child Advocacy Centers


There are pilot experiences of implementation of Barnahus in Autonomous Communities such as Madrid, Navarra, Cantabria and the Basque Country are starting with the implementation. On 29 March 2023, the first Barnahus in Spain was inaugurated in Tarragona, after being in operation since 2020 as a pilot experience (in the framework of the “Barnahus Spain” project of the Council of Europe)

Council of Europe, 2022

SEC Police Unit


Within the National Police Corps, Family and Women’s Care Units exist in all the Provincial Brigades of Judicial Police and Local Commissioners. Within the Civil Guard, there are teams focusing on women and children and covering issues such as gender violence and violence against minors. Personnel of these units are deployed both at the provincial and regional levels. Additional police units exist and operate to tackle crimes of sexual exploitation of children in specific contexts such as online or through trafficking.

Ministry of Defense of Spain, Ministry of the Interior of Spain, 2021

Protection Standards Travel and Tourism

No Data


Public SEC Case Data


Data on cases of some forms of sexual exploitation is publicly available. However, such data is not comprehensive nor disaggregated.

Ministry of the Interior of Spain, 2021