Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • French journalist tells of release from captivity in Syria

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • ‘Deadly clashes’ at Eastern Ukraine checkpoint

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

France

French stars petition against criminalising prostitution

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-17

Iconic actress Catherine Deneuve has signed a petition, along with scores of other French celebrities, condemning government plans to punish clients of sex workers. They argue that the law will only drive the industry further underground.

Sixty French celebrities, including iconic actress Catherine Deneuve who herself played a prostitute in cult film ‘Belle de jour’, have signed a petition to protest against government plans to impose fines on people paying for sex.

The stars argue that the proposed legislation will only serve to push the sex trade further underground.

A proposed anti-prostitution law, due to be debated in the National Assembly at the end of November, seeks to penalise the clients.

The law, which aims to phase out prostitution in France, would impose a 1,500-euro fine on those paying for sex, and double the penalty if they repeat the offence.

The petition is the latest in a series of high-profile campaigns to stop the government cracking down on the industry.

It calls for “a real debate without ideological prejudice” on the sex trade, amid scepticism of the government’s ambition to “eradicate prostitution”.

"Without supporting or promoting prostitution, we reject the penalisation of those who prostitute themselves and those who seek their services," read the petition published in French media on Saturday.

Antoine, a veteran French singer, highlighted to AFP that the signatories, "agree that the government should fight against forced prostitution".

Violence against prostitutes

Speaking to Le Point magazine, Antoine also said there was "no link" between this petition and a controversial manifesto which provoked outrage in October when it declared: "Hands off my whore."

"We consider that everyone has the right to freely sell their charms – and even to enjoy doing so," the manifesto said, in comments that were widely condemned.

According to a TNS Sofres poll published at the end of October, only 20 percent of French people support the government’s move to crack down on people paying for sex.

There are an estimated 40,000 sex workers in France, of whom 85 percent are women and 90 percent are migrants, according to a report compiled by Socialist lawmaker Maud Olivier.

“The law is intended to reduce violence towards prostitutes and to get it into the general mindset that paying for sexual services is not acceptable," Olivier said in September. "We need to destroy the idea that prostitution is a happy trade.”

Under current laws, prostitution itself is legal in France, but soliciting, pimping, and underage prostitution are prohibited.

A number of countries, including Iceland, Norway and Sweden also have laws that criminalise the act of paying for sex.

(FRANCE24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-11-17

  • CANADA

    Toronto council asks mayor to resign amid new claims of impropriety

    Read more

  • FRANCE - PROSTITUTION

    ‘Hands off my whore’ campaign outrages France

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French bill would criminalise paying for sex

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)