French lawmakers set to outlaw paying for sex

French lawmakers are set to outlaw paying for sex, 2015 file photo
French lawmakers are set to outlaw paying for sex, 2015 file photo AFP/Bertrand Langlois

Members of France’s lower house were set on Wednesday to adopt a final version of a bill that outlaws paying for sex and would penalise prostitutes' clients for the first time.The law has been championed by France’s Socialist government as a measure to strengthen the fight against prostitution, and comes after almost two and a half years of political wrangling.


Since its first reading in December 2013, the bill has come up for a vote in the National Assembly on three separate occasions. MPs and senators have struggled to agree on the key component of the measure, which outlaws paying for sex, with fines of 1,500 euros for clients and up to 3,500 euros for repeat offenses.

Wednesday’s vote in the lower house will be definitive.

Sex workers who oppose the law were scheduled to protest neat the National Assembly on Wednesday. They say it will push prostitution further underground and make them more vulnerable.

If the bill passes on Wednesday as expected, France will become the fifth European country to penalise prostitute's clients.

French authorities say the new law would allow for period of grace, so that prostitutes' clients would not immediately be fined.

- with France 24

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