IBIZA, Spain, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Prostitutes on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza can now join a cooperative that provides medical care and allows them to pay taxes and receive state benefits.
The Sealeer Cooperative, the first of its kind in Spain, is organized as a non-profit organization, ThinkSpain reported. Maria Jose Lopez Armesto said it took her two years to get approval for the group.
"Behind every prostitute is a hungry family, usually with children to keep fed and clothed," she said. "Society forces these girls into prostitution because, if they do not have the opportunity to get a normal, everyday job, they have to do something to earn a living."
Women pay 300 euros ($406) to join. The fee is refundable if they stay in the group for four years or for a reason like finding another job or returning to their home country. To join, prostitutes must be at least 18 and not working for a pimp or madam, ThinkSpain reported.
Paying taxes means their prostitution earnings will help them get a state pension when they retire and be eligible for other benefits like maternity pay and sick leave.