A new reform of prostitution law has been passed by the French lower house of parliament.
The new reform was passed with 268 votes in favor and 138 against. This is some of the most restrictive legislation in Europe.
People wanting to buy sex will be faced with a €1,500 (roughly $2033) fine, but the act of solicitation will no longer be punished.
France’s minister for women’s rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem has said that any form of prostitution is unacceptable. She also says that President François Hollande’s Socialist government’s aim was to end the trade at last.
According to The Guardian,
“Proponents of the reform point to rising human trafficking as a reason for tightening rules. Some 90% of France’s estimated 20,000 to 40,000 sex workers are victims of Nigerian, Chinese and Romanian trafficking networks, the government says.”
There are a few ministers who are weary on the ability to apply the law as it stands. Several sex workers who were interviewed also shared their anger of the law since it will “rob them of their livelihood.”
“Already, in the past two weeks we have felt the pinch,” said a woman calling herself Sarah, who works in the Bois de Boulonge, a centre for prostitution on the outskirts of Paris.”
“The clients aren’t coming…and the few clients that do come all ask me the same questions: ‘Is the law going through? What are we going to do?”