Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville peace talks suspended

Read more

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Was the UN chief’s speech in Tel Aviv really a 'shameful message'?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France concerned about anti-Semitism

Read more

  • Live: Pro-Palestinian protest staged in Paris under tight security

    Read more

  • UN human rights chief blasts Israel-Gaza ‘war crimes’

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

France

France moves to outlaw prostitution

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-07

French lawmakers passed a resolution Tuesday in favour of making prostitution illegal. The move would include fines and jail time for those paying for sex. The non-binding resolution was approved by a show of hands in France’s lower house.

AFP - French lawmakers voted on Tuesday in favour of outlawing prostitution in the country, setting the stage for the introduction of a bill that would impose fines and jail time for paying for sex.

The move comes despite France's long history of liberal attitudes toward sex and with the country gripped by coverage of a prostitution scandal involving former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who has been linked with a pimping ring operating out of luxury hotels in the northern city of Lille.

The non-binding resolution on the "abolition of prostitution", drafted by a cross-party commission, was approved in a show of hands vote in the lower house National Assembly.

Lawmakers from the commission were expected to introduce a bill later Tuesday or in the next few days to criminalise paying for sex.

The commission has recommended imposing sentences of up to six months in prison and a 3,000 euro ($4,000) fine on clients of prostitutes.

The resolution said France should seek "a society without prostitution" and that sex work "should in no case be designated as a professional activity".

Guy Geoffroy of the ruling UMP party, a member of the commission, said earlier that passing the resolution would be "an important, symbolic and solemn step" in fighting prostitution.

"Nine prostitutes out of 10 are victims of human trafficking," he said.

Prostitution is not illegal in France though several linked activities are, including soliciting, procuring and operating a brothel, while paying for sex with someone under the age of 18 is banned.

Yves Charpenel, the head of the Fondation Scelles, a group that fights human trafficking and is among those demanding criminalisation, said it was unclear whether the bill on criminalisation would eventually be adopted.

"There is no consensus yet on this subject," Charpenel said. "Will the deputies who vote for the abolitionist resolution then vote for its concrete application?"

"More than ever, it is necessary to clarify the French position" on prostitution, he said.

Sex workers' groups have denounced the proposal as an attack on their rights and protested against the resolution near the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Several dozen prostitutes and supporters rallied carrying signs reading "Sex Work is Work" and "Prostitution -- No Repression -- No Punishment -- Rights!"

Punishing clients will "deprive prostitutes of work that provides them with a living, give clients more power over them and push prostitutes to turn to intermediaries to be able to work," said Sarah-Marie Maffesoli, a lawyer for sex workers' group Strass.

In a letter to lawmakers, the group called for the resolution to be voted down, saying it threatens sex workers' "health, security and livelihoods".

An estimated 20,000 people work as prostitutes in France.

Prostitution has been thrown into the spotlight in France in recent weeks as media devoted widespread coverage to the case of eight leading members of Lille society charged with operating a ring that provided sex workers to clients including, allegedly, Strauss-Kahn.

The one-time top contender for the French presidency resigned as International Monetary Fund chief in May after he was accused of attempting to rape a New York hotel maid, though the charges against him were later dropped. He denies any criminal wrongdoing.

 

Date created : 2011-12-07

  • FRANCE

    Strauss-Kahn 'stopped by police in Bois de Boulogne'

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Sex clients could be fined, jailed under proposed law

    Read more

  • CARLTON HOTEL SCANDAL

    Who’s who in the Carlton Hotel prostitutes scandal

    Read more

COMMENT(S)