Council of Ministers

The Government of Spain takes a comprehensive approach to the fight against human trafficking and exploitation

Council of Ministers - 2022.11.29

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Moncloa Palace, Madrid

The Council of Ministers has approved the Draft Bill of the Comprehensive Law to Combat Trafficking and Exploitation of Human Beings, which comprehensively addresses the fight against all forms of trafficking and exploitation, from sexual and labour trafficking to organ trafficking.

The Minister for Justice, Pilar Llop, stated that the future law "will be a turning point in the commitment to protect human rights", will allow protection through legal, institutional and social tools "for people who suffer greatly in our country and also in other countries in the world" and will strengthen the fight against exploitation mafias and organised crime. Trafficking is the third most lucrative business after arms and drug trafficking, according to international organisations.

The preliminary draft is based on a text drawn up at the request of the minister herself by a special commission set up within the General Codification Commission of the Ministry of Justice. It has been coordinated by the ministries of Equality, Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, Home Affairs and Justice, and has incorporated contributions from nine other departments.

Llop underlined the commitment of the entire government, led by its president, Pedro Sánchez, expressing her personal involvement in a project "that is truly worthwhile, because there is nothing more important than protecting the most vulnerable people".

The Minister for Justice, Pilar Llop, during her speech at the press conference after the Council of Ministers | Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

Protection and assistance to victims of trafficking

Pilar Llop explained that the law focuses on assistance and protection for victims, who are guaranteed a series of rights and support measures. She stated that "as a social state based on the rule of law, it is essential that we lay out a pathway for those who are trapped, those who are immersed in these networks, to be able to get out".

One of the main innovations is the creation of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) as the body in charge of the immediate referral of presumed trafficked persons to specialised services. This mechanism will be attached to a National Rapporteur on Trafficking and Exploitation of Human Beings, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, which will supervise all public policies on trafficking and exploitation and will play the role of national coordinator for the purpose of representing Spain in the international arena.

Pilar Llop pointed out that the regulation follows all the international recommendations of the Warsaw Convention, the Palermo Protocol, the International Labour Organisation Protocol, Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and the Council and the directives of the Council of Europe's Group of Experts against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

The future law also includes measures to discourage demand and "try to break the chain of business that is generated by using human beings as merchandise", and consequently, to address criminal, legal and procedural aspects "to fight crime more effectively and avoid impunity", the minister concluded.

Two candidates nominated for the Constitutional Court

The Minister for the Presidency, Parliamentary Relations and Democratic Memory, Félix Bolaños, during his speech at the press conference after the Council of Ministers | Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

The Government has agreed to propose Juan Carlos Campo Moreno and Laura Díez Hueso as new judges of the Constitutional Court, in accordance with the provisions of article 159.1 of the Constitution.

Juan Carlos Campo Moreno holds a PhD in Law, is a member of the Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation and is currently a judge at the National High Court. He was a member of the General Council of the Judiciary and Minister for Justice between January 2020 and July 2021. Laura Díez Hueso holds a PhD in Law and is Professor of Constitutional Law and, at present, is Vice-President of the Council for Statutory Guarantees of the Government of Catalonia.

The Minister for the Presidency, Parliamentary Relations and Democratic Memory, Félix Bolaños, has considered that both candidates meet the formal requirements of suitability to be appointed as judges of the Constitutional Court - to be Spaniards and jurists of recognised competence with more than fifteen years of professional or active practice - and has also highlighted their extensive knowledge of law and administration and their commitment and vocation for public service.

Campo and Díez will replace the two judges appointed by the government in 2013, Pedro José González-Trevijano Sánchez, who now presides over the Constitutional Court, and Antonio Narváez Rodríguez, who in 2014 took the place of Enrique López y López after the latter resigned.

Renewal pending

Félix Bolaños affirmed that with this proposal to renew the Constitutional Court the government is complying with the Constitution and the law. "The government has the right and the duty to take this decision, since the situation of deadlock that is occurring in another constitutional body, the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), is a breach that cannot mean that the government can also fail to fulfil its constitutional obligations," he said.

Bolaños was referring to the fact that the CGPJ has not yet proposed the two magistrates whose appointment is their responsibility according to the Constitution. Last July, by means of an amendment to the Organic Law 6/1985 on the Judiciary, the CGPJ was empowered to make this proposal despite being in office and a deadline was established, which has now expired.

The minister expressly pointed out that the failure to comply with the Constitution and the law "is attributable to the eight conservative members of the CGPJ and not to the body as a whole", which he invited to appoint the two magistrates that is their responsibility so that the Constitutional Court can be renewed in its entirety and "constitutional normality be restored to our democratic system."

Sustainable Tourism Plans Destination 2022

The Government Spokesperson and Minister for Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez, during her speech at the press conference after the Council of Ministers | Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

The Council of Ministers has authorised the territorial distribution of €720 million corresponding to the extraordinary call for the Sustainable Tourism Plans Destination 2022 programme, financed with NextGenerationEU funds from the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

The Government Spokesperson and Minister for Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez, has underlined the importance of the tourism sector in the Spanish economy and expressed her satisfaction that the levels prior to the pandemic have been recovered. "The data tells us that up to October this year around 8 million international tourists have visited our country, with spending similar to 2019, which was a record year, and therefore we are making good progress in tourism."

The plans approved today will benefit more than 700 projects, which will be developed in collaboration with the regional governments and the local administration to advance in sustainability, digitalisation, diversification of offers and improvement of the natural heritage through reducing emissions and waste and improving resource management.

Combined Agrarian Insurance Plan 2023

The Executive has approved the Combined Agrarian Insurance Plan for 2023, with a subsidy line of €317.7 million.

Isabel Rodríguez highlighted the increase in aid compared to 2018, when 210 million was allocated, pointing out that "we support the agricultural sector through three major instruments: the food chain law, the new CAP strategy and this reinforcement of agricultural insurance."

The most important new feature is the increase of 10 percentage points in the base subsidy received by the vast majority of policyholders, which began to be applied to the lines whose contracting period started on 1 September 2022 and is now consolidated for the entire 2023 financial year.

The spokesperson added that the management of these resources has also improved, since once they have been requested the insured are now receiving the aid in less than 30 days.

Other agreements

Framework of Actions for Doñana, Spain's most important wetland, endowed with €356 million

Co-financing of the extension of line 3 of the Seville Metro with €650 million.

Agreements with the Valencian Community to the value of €300 million to boost mobility and improve roads and railways until 2025.

Non official translation