France: Senate Votes to Punish Women Who Solicit Sex, Not Sex Buyers
Friday, April 3, 2015 9:35 AM

On March 31, the French Senate voted to dramatically revise an anti-prostitution bill originally passed in 2013 by the National Assembly, France’s lower house of Parliament. The 2013 bill followed the Nordic Model of prostitution by eliminating criminal penalties for sex sellers and imposing new fines on men who buy sex. The Senate removed the provisions punishing sex buyers but retained existing stiff criminal penalties for women who solicit sex. A French Senator who opposed the Senate’s version of the prostitution bill said, “[w]e must go after the mafia, not these women . . . We have taken a step backwards.” Supporters of the National Assembly bill argued that it would reduce the number of women trafficked and exploited for sex by criminal gangs in France.

Compiled from: French Senate overturns bill to punish prostitutes’ clients, France 24 (March 31, 2015); French Senate overturns fines for prostitutes' clients, BBC News (March 31, 2015).