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On Friday, France's lawmakers began debating a bill to penalise the use of prostitutes...While Prostitution is currently legal in France, brothels, pimping and soliciting in public are deemed illegal.This debate has brought to light the ...

Rallying outside France's national assembly....Supporters and opponents of the proposed law gathered to have their voices heardFrench deputies voted on key texts of bill which aims to decriminalize an estimated 20,000 prostitutes in France... by scrapping a law that bans soliciting on the streets...They also decided to target clients of prostitutes- hitting them with a 1500 Euro fine...SOUNDBITE (French) Maud Olivier, French Socialist MP and one of the authors of the new prostitution law: "It is a historic day for women's rights and for the recognition of their body, so society becomes aware that women's bodies cannot be bought or rented, just because some clients have money and take advantage of their economic difficulties."The bill is inspired by a Swedish law, which has reduced street prostitution in the country... by half -over the past decade... But, Sex workers in France don't believe the law is designed to help them..SOUNDBITE (French) Ophelia (no other name given), French prostitute: "This is unrealistic, prostitution will happen anyway, but in a different way. In a more hidden way. It is already happening right now. On Rue Saint-Denis, we have clandestine acts of prostitution at night, in various courtyards and dark alleys."According to the government 90% of the prostitutes in France are victims of Nigerian, Chinese and Romanian human trafficking networks...The proposed law will be voted on wednesday... [[SUR-TITLE]][[TITLE]][[INTRO]][[AUTHOR]]
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