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Barcelona's Prostitution Problem: Catalonian City Becoming Human Trafficking Epicenter (VIDEO)

07/05/2011 02:07 pm ET | Updated Sep 04, 2011

Barcelona may be beloved the world over for its sun-drenched beaches and spectacular nightlife, but the city has also become a notorious epicenter for the local prostitution trade.

As CNN is reporting, Barcelona's tourism trade isn't the main draw for human traffickers, although the sex worker industry undoubtedly benefits because of it. Not only can vacationers become a great source of clients, but tourist visas are used to draw potential prostitutes from Bulgaria, Albania, Nigeria and elsewhere. Many women are drawn to Barcelona to become prostitutes in a desperate effort to help family back home.

The region's less-than-rigid prostitution laws are yet another draw -- in Barcelona, it's legal for a woman to sell herself, although she cannot become a licensed prostitute. "You cannot act in any case against her because she is exercising her right to prostitute herself on her own free will," inspector Xavier Cortes is quoted as saying. "Unless you can prove that another person is benefiting from the prostitution of this woman...our goal is to locate people who exploit women."

Watch CNN's report on Barcelona's booming prostitution industry here:

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