Question 1. (a) Acts such as those described below, punishable under criminal law, are to some extent akin to the situations to which the question refers (“owning a slave or a person of servile status):
- Any person who holds another person in prostitution of in any other type of immoral traffic against the latter’s will is liable to the maximum penalty (article 452 bis (a)) of medium term imprisonment (six months and one day to six years), a fine of 5,000 to 25,000 pesetas and absolute disqualification from holding public office, in the case of a public body or official, or special disqualification, in other cases.
- Parents or guardians who ill-treat their children or wards under sixteen years of age in order to induce them to beg, or for not having earned enough begging, are liable to the penalty of short-term detention (one day to one month) and a fine of 250 to 2,000 pesetas or to a reprimand by a judge in a closed court…
Question 1(b) The following acts are regarded as offences under Spanish law which may create a “status” such as those described in subparagraph (a) above or may conceivably be used to subject a person to slavery or servile status:
- Under articles 480 to 483, any person who detains or confines another person and thus deprives him of his liberty is liable to long-term imprisonment (six years and one day to twelve years) plus a fine of 5,000 to 10,000 pesetas if the period of confinement or detention is over twenty days…
5) The Act of 26 July 1878 prescribes short and medium terms of correctional imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 to 25,000 pesetas for ascendants, guardians, teachers and persons in any way responsible for a minor under sixteen years of age who surrender him to persons engaged in certain professions or to habitual vagrants or beggars. If this is done for a consideration, the maximum term of imprisonment is imposed.
1. The dignity of the person, the inviolable rights which are inherent, the free development of the personality, the respect for the law and for the rights of others are the foundation of political order and social peace.
2. Provisions relating to the fundamental rights and liberties recognised by the Constitution shall be construed in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international treaties and agreements thereon ratified by Spain.
Everyone has the right to life and to physical and moral integrity, and under no circumstances may be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment. Death penalty is hereby abolished, except as provided for by military criminal law in times of war.
1. Every person has the right to freedom and security. No one may be deprived of his or her freedom except in accordance with the provisions of this section and in the cases and in the manner provided for by the law.
Spaniards have the right to freely choose their place of residence, and to freely move about within the national territory. Likewise, they have the right to freely enter and leave Spain subject to the conditions to be laid down by the law. This right may not be restricted for political or ideological reasons.
- No one may be convicted or sentenced for actions or omissions which when committed did not constitute a criminal offence, misdemeanour or administrative offence under the law then in force.
- Punishments entailing imprisonment and security measures shall be aimed at reeducation and social rehabilitation and may not involve forced labour. The person sentenced to prison shall enjoy, during the imprisonment, the fundamental rights contained in this Chapter except those expressly restricted by the content of the sentence, the purpose of the punishment and the penitentiary law. In any case, he or she shall be entitled to paid work and to the appropriate Social Security benefits, as well as to access to cultural opportunities and the overall development of his or her personality.
- The Civil Administration may not impose penalties which directly or indirectly imply deprivation of freedom.
- All Spaniards have the duty to work and the right to work, to the free choice of profession or trade, to advancement through work, and to a sufficient remuneration for the satisfaction of their needs and those of their families. Under no circumstances may they be discriminated on account of their sex.
2. The law shall regulate a Workers’ Statute.
Spainish Constitution 1978 (revised 2011) (PDF)
- A private individual who locks up or detains another person, depriving him of his liberty, shall be punished with a sentence of imprisonment from four to six years.
- Should the offender release the person locked up or detained within the first three days of detention, without having achieved his intended objective, he shall have the lower degree punishment imposed.
- A sentence of imprisonment from five to eight years shall be handed down if the victim is locked up or detained for more than fifteen days.
- A private individual who, outside the cases allowed by the laws, arrests a person to immediately hand him over to the authorities, shall be punished with the penalty of a fine from three to six months.
Provocation, conspiracy and solicitation to commit the offences foreseen in this Chapter shall be punished with the penalty lower by one or two degrees to that set for the offence concerned.
- Whoever, without being lawfully authorised, were to use violence to prevent another from doing something the law does not prohibit, or who forces him to do something he does not want to do, whether just or unjust, shall be punished with a sentence of imprisonment of six months to three years or with a fine of twelve to twenty- four months, in view of the severity of the coercion or the means used.
When the object of the coercion exercised is to prevent someone from exercising a fundamental right, the penalties shall be imposed in the upper half, except if a higher punishment is set for the offence under another provision of this Code.
The penalties shall also be imposed in the upper half when the coercion perpetrated is intended to prevent someone from lawfully enjoying his dwelling.
- Whoever lightly coerces his wife or former wife or woman to whom he is or has been bound by a similar emotional relation, even without cohabitation, shall be punished with a sentence of imprisonment of six months to one year or of community service of thirty- one to eighty days and, in all cases, deprivation of the right to own and carry weapons from a year and a day to three years, as well as, when the Judge or Court of Law sees it fit in the interest of the minor or incapacitated person, special barring from exercise of parental rights, guardianship, care, safekeeping or fostership up to five years.
The same punishment shall be imposed on whoever slightly coerces an especially vulnerable person who lives with the offender.
The punishment shall be imposed in the upper half when the offence is committed in the presence of minors, or when it takes place in the common dwelling or in the dwelling of the victim, or is perpetrated in breach of a punishment of those set forth in Article 48 of this Code or an precautionary or security measure of the same kind.
Notwithstanding what is set forth in the preceding Sections, the Judge or Court of Law may, giving the reasons in the judgement, in view of the offender’s personal circumstances and those arising in perpetrating the act, hand down a punishment one degree lower.
- Whoever inflicts a degrading treatment on another person, seriously damaging his moral integrity, shall be punished with a sentence of imprisonment of six months to two years.
The same punishment shall be imposed on those who, within the setting of any labour relation or the civil service, availing themselves of their superior status, repeatedly perpetrate hostile or humiliating acts against another that, while not reaching the status of degrading treatment, amount to serious harassment of the victim.
The same punishment shall also be imposed on those who repeatedly perpetrate hostile or humiliating acts that, while not reaching the statement of degrading treatment, are aimed at preventing lawful enjoyment of a dwelling.
Article 177 bis. On trafficking in human beings
- Whoever, using violence, intimidation or deceit, or abusing a situation of superiority or need, or the vulnerability of a national or alien victim, were to induce, transport, transfer, receive or house such a victim for any of the purposes described below, within Spain, from Spain, in transit or with destination therein, shall be convicted of human trafficking and punished with the penalty of five to eight years imprisonment,:
- a) Imposing on the victim forced work or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery or servitude or begging;
- b) Sexual exploitation, including pornography;
- c) Extraction of their bodily organs.
- Even when not resorting to any of the means listed in the preceding Section, the actions stated in the preceding Section shall be deemed human trafficking when perpetrated with minors for the purposes of exploitation.
- The consent of a victim of human trafficking shall be irrelevant when any of the means stated in Section one of this Article has been resorted to.
- A higher degree punishment than that foreseen in Section 1 of this Article shall be applied when:
- a) The trafficking puts the victim in serious danger;
- b) The victim is a minor;
- c) The victim is especially vulnerable due to illness, disability or his situation.
Should more than one circumstance concur, the punishment shall be imposed in its upper half.
- A punishment higher in one degree than that foreseen in Section 1 of this Article shall be imposed, and absolute barring from six to twelve years for those who perpetrate such acts availing themselves of their status as an authority due to being agent or public officer thereof . If any of the circumstances also foreseen in Section 4 of this Article should also concur, the penalties shall be imposed in the upper half.
- A punishment higher in one degree than foreseen in Section 1 of this Article shall be imposed and special barring from profession, trade, industry or commerce for the time of the sentence, when the offender belongs to an organisation or assembly of more than two persons, even if transitory in nature, which perpetrates such activities.
Should any of the circumstances foreseen in Section 4 of this Article concur, the penalties imposed shall be in the upper half. If the circumstance foreseen in Section 5 of this Article concurs, the penalties imposed shall be those stated the upper half thereof.
In the case of the managers, directors or persons in charge of such organisations or assemblies, the upper half of the punishment shall be applied, which may raised to the one immediately above it in degree.
In all cases, the punishment shall be raised to the one immediately above in degree if any of the circumstances foreseen in Section 4 or the circumstance foreseen in Section 5 of this Article concurs.
- When, pursuant to the terms established in Article 31 bis, a legal person is responsible for the offences described in the Article, the punishment imposed thereon shall be a fine from three to five times the profit obtained. Pursuant to the rules established in Article 66 bis, the Judges and Courts of Law may also impose the penalties established in Sub-Sections b) to g) of Section 7 of Article 33.
. Provocation, conspiracy and solicitation to commit the offence of trafficking in human beings shall be punished with the penalty lower by one or two degrees to that of the relevant offence.
- In all cases, the penalties foreseen in this Article shall be imposed without prejudice to the relevant one, as appropriate, for the offence of Article 318 bis of this Code and other offences effectively committed, including those related to the relevant exploitation.
- Sentences by foreign Judges or Courts of Law for offences of the same kind as those foreseen in this Article shall have the effect of recidivism, except if the criminal record has been cancelled or may be, pursuant to Spanish Law.
- Without prejudice to application of the general rules of this Code, the victims of trafficking in human beings shall be exempt of punishment for the criminal offences that might have been committed while suffering exploitation, as long as participation therein has been a direct consequence of the situation of violence, intimidation, deceit or abuse to which they may have been subjected to and provided there is an adequate proportionality between that situation and the criminal act perpetrated.
- Punishment by imprisonment from two to ﬁve years and a ﬁne from six to twelve months shall apply to those who unlawfully trafﬁc with labour.
- The same punishment shall be incurred by whoever recruits persons or leads them to leave their place of work by offering deceitful or false employment or working conditions and whoever employs foreign citizens without work permits under conditions that negatively affect, suppress or restrict the rights they are recognised by the legal provisions, collective bargaining agreements or individual contracts.
607 bis. Crimes against humanity
- Conviction for crimes against humanity shall befall whoever commits the acts foreseen in the following Section as part of a widespread or systematic attack on the civil population or against part thereof.
In all cases, committing such acts shall be deemed a crime against humanity when:
- Due to the victim pertaining to a group or community persecuted for political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or another kind of reasons, disability, or other motives universally recognised as unacceptable under International Law;
- In the context of an institutionalised regime of systematic oppression and domination of a racial group over one or more racial groups and with the intention of maintaining such a regime.
- Those convicted of crimes against humanity shall be punished:
- With a sentence of imprisonment from four to eight years if they commit any of the conducts related to prostitution defined in Article 187.1, and with that of six to eight years in the cases foreseen in Article 188.1. The punishment shall be imposed from six to eight years on whoever transports persons from one place to another with the intent to sexually exploit them, using violence, intimidation or deceit, or abusing a situation of superiority or need or the vulnerability of the victim. When the conduct foreseen in the preceding Section and in Article 188.1 is committed against minors or the incapacitated, the higher degree penalties shall be imposed;
- With a sentence of imprisonment from four to eight years if any person is subjected to slavery or kept in servitude. The punishment shall be applied without prejudice to the appropriate ones for the specific violations committed against the rights of persons. Slavery shall be construed as the situation of a person over whom another exercises, albeit de facto, all and some of the attributes of the right of property, such as buying, selling, lending or exchanging such person.
Whoever perpetrates the following acts during an armed conflict shall be punished with a sentence of imprisonment from ten to fifteen years, without prejudice to the relevant punishment for the results caused:
Criminal code (PDF)
9. Attacks the sexual freedom of a protected person by committing acts of rape, sexual slavery, induced or forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced sterilisation or any other kind of sexual assault.