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France May Make It Illegal To Pay For Sex

France May Make It Illegal To Pay For Sex

Although prostitution and solicitation of prostitutes are both legal in France, lawmakers are considering new legislation which would make solicitation for prostitution illegal.  This would mean that prostitutes’ clients, if caught, could face jail time, but that prostitutes themselves wouldn’t be penalized.  The politicians who back the ban claim that most, if not all, prostitution supports sex trafficking.

“There is no such thing as freely chosen and consenting prostitution,” Roselyne Bachelot, the social affairs minister said.  “The sale of sexual acts means women’s bodies are made available for men, independently of the wishes of those women.”  Other legislators claimed that 80% of the estimated 20,000 prostitutes in France were victims of trafficking or slavery.  The Guardian doesn’t back up this statistic, but presumably it’s being cited by French politicians.

Proposals for the law wouldn’t be debated until next year, but if it passed, France would join a small number of European countries, including Sweden, Norway, and Iceland, where solicitation of prostitution is illegal.

A French actor who has been open about his own tendency to pay prostitutes for sex said that it was a political move in the run-up to the election.  “First it was immigrants, now it’s prostitutes. This is plain populism and shows a disdain for individual liberties,” he said. “As for the other women, leave them alone. They take care of men who mostly live in sexual misery and terrible solitude. They are remarkable women.”

Some sex workers would certainly object to the notion that their occupation is not freely chosen, and although they wouldn’t be directly impacted, the sex work industry would certainly change if solicitation were criminalized.  There was heated debate before the Norwegian law was passed, with sex workers pointing out that even if they don’t personally face punishment, laws like this still make the police seem hostile. 

Interestingly, a Dutch advocate for prostitutes said in a 2009 article for the BBC that although trafficking is common, coercion isn’t always involved.  “Lots of trafficked women knew they were going to work as sex workers,” she explained.

Either way, the passage of this law is a long way off, and if it progresses, it’s sure to be the subject of heavy debate.  We’ll keep you posted as it unfolds.

 

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Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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62 comments

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1:59PM PDT on Apr 30, 2011

' A French actor who has been open about his own tendency to pay prostitutes for sex said that it was a political move in the run-up to the election. "First it was immigrants, now it's prostitutes. This is plain populism and shows a disdain for individual liberties," he said. "As for the other women, leave them alone. They take care of men who mostly live in sexual misery and terrible solitude. They are remarkable women." '

I hope this French actor then will promote his wife, daughters, mother, sisters and any other female relative of his to become one of these remarkable women!
And there are NO law in any country in the world that says that men have a universial right to get sexually satisfied no matter what. If you can't use your hands...
Besides, study after study identifies the customers as men in relationships with children, some rather wealthy but most having ordinary jobs Men willing to risk getting STDs to pass on to their wifes and using their salaries to buy sexual satisfaction instead of supporting their families. Men, having a weird opinion of women and their purpose in life, an opinion that where very common in the 1800s.
But by all means, if you do believe that there are happy prositutes, do help your female relatives persue a career in prostitution!

4:37PM PDT on Apr 25, 2011

get out of peoples bedrooms one size does not fit all some people have more hormones than others because of this they should not suffer many of the so called religius people that want this are the biggest hipocrats of all.

9:53AM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

INTERESTING DEBATE

9:03AM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

Prostitution should never be legal. Go and meet some prostitutes-virtually all of them were trafficked in, enslaved, or have a drug dependency and a huge amount of them are teenage girls. No little girl dreams of growing up and being a prostitute. No woman really wants to do this. I notice it's mostly men that say their ok with it because it's mostly men that use female prostitutes. Prostitution spreads diseases and endangers women. Imagine your child being a prostitute and then tell me it's OK?. Everyone knows it isn't, but people just feel like they have to be liberal all the time because it's 2011, but there is a limit. I hope France makes this illegal. It's disgusting. And prostitutes are also more likely to be raped or murdered and women who have regular jobs.

7:31AM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

I HAVE LONG FELT THAT IN UK TO LEGALISE PROSTITUTION IS THE WAY TO GO.......for one thing, with compulsory healthchecks, both prostitute and client would be safer....by making it legal, it might do away with pimps, and other idle bastards living off these women.....it has to start somewhere,and as things are in this country at present, any woman with something to lose is a sitting duck for unscrupulous men to take advantage of them.
By France trying to make it an offence for a man to pay for sex, they are behaving like ostriches......if they shove their heads in the sand, it won't improve matters for anyone, as well as making them a laughing stock! As long as there are women willing to sell, and men willing to buy, it ain't going away.

2:32PM PDT on Apr 17, 2011

easy to stop prostetution if YOU really want to...
TAX them 100% on all earning.....take the girls and send them back to their own country...when you find their minder...jail them for at least 10 years...etc...etc...publish the name of their client in news papers if you really want to stop it ...you can...in any countries!

2:26PM PDT on Apr 17, 2011

I went to France, that country sucks. They are known for their perfumes (smell like dead animals) and their Lovers, but all I saw was nasty bitches. Will never, ever go there again. They Suck!!!

12:56PM PDT on Apr 17, 2011

Unfortunately, I don't think that will stop the men in France from getting prostitutes. They will still get what they want, maybe not as easily, but they will.

11:03AM PDT on Apr 17, 2011

I can't imagine how they will police that!!

7:50AM PDT on Apr 17, 2011

Supply and Demand. As long as there is demand and there always will be as long as humans are around. Making something illegal only makes it go underground increasing the criminal element. Which leads to violence and corruption. The drug war here in the US is a prime example as well as prohibition of alcohol.

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