France adopts the Sex Buyer Law

On 6 April 2016 France become the fifth country to adopt the Sex Buyer Law. It has joined Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Northern Ireland in criminalising paying for sex, decriminalising selling sex, and providing support and exiting services for people exploited through prostitution.

Huge congratulations to the many survivors, activists and organisations who campaigned tirelessly to secure the Sex Buyer Law.

A representative of the Coalition Against Prostitution confirmed that France’s new law:

  • Recognises prostitution as a form of violence and an obstacle to gender equality;
  • Repeals all forms of criminalization of prostituted persons;
  • Offers new protections and better access to financial compensation for victims of prostitution, pimping, procuring and trafficking;
  • Establishes a national exiting policy and local coordination mechanisms to improve the protection of victims and their access to social support and exit options;
  • Permits the granting of temporary residency permits to victims of trafficking in human beings;
  • Reinforces the fight against pimping, procuring and trafficking on the internet;
  • Prohibits the purchase of sex acts;
  • Creates an education policy on the non-commodification of human bodies to be delivered in schools.

Now it’s time for England, Wales and Scotland to follow suit and adopt the Sex Buyer Law!


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