French Assembly to debate bill banning prostitution
French politicians are to debate a bill on Tuesday, calling for prostitution to be made illegal. In the wake of high-profile sex scandals, clients could face fines if caught paying for sex.
A bill to ban prostitution in France is to be debated in the French Parliament on Tuesday, and could pass into law next year if successful. According to IBN Live
, officials from all political parties have signed a resolution in favour of the change. Currently prostitution is legal in France, but brothel owning and pimping are illegal.
Some of the country's 20,000 prostitutes have been been protesting the potential bill in front of the National Assembly. Strass, the union of sex workers in France, has organized a rally to protest the bill. Strass spokeswoman "Maitresse Gilda" is reported by the Guardian
as saying those behind the bill are trying to "impose puritanical northern European sexual and moral mores on France."
Guy Geoffroy, an MP from the ruling UMP party, says that the ban is necessary as 90 percent of prostitutes are the victims of human trafficking, rather than prostitutes by choice. The BBC
reported Geoffroy said
"From now on prostitution is regarded from the point of view of violence against women and that has become unacceptable for everyone."
If the bill becomes law then clients who avail themselves of prostitutes will be liable to fines of 3,000 euros whilst prostitution could carry a six-month prison sentence. The French prostitutes work primarily from apartments and the street girls are more likely to be foreigners from Asia and Eastern Europe. Geoffroy says
"Today, most are foreigners and part of mafia organisations where they suffer terrible treatment."
The desire to curb prostitution is considered a reaction to the sleazy allegations that have surfaced regarding high-class call girls, and in reaction to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal.
If the ban is passed then prostitution will become illegal, but not likely to cease unless client fines are rigorously imposed.