The debate promised to be stormy. The Senate has removed the night of Monday to Tuesday penalizing customers and restored the offense of soliciting, strengths of the proposed legislation to strengthen the fight against prostitution. The sages adopted by 165 votes for and 44 against the deeply modified text of socialist deputies voted in December 2013 to the National Assembly.
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He originally planned to repeal the offense of soliciting introduced by Nicolas Sarkozy, and build in consideration the criminalization of clients. The special Senate committee has changed the situation by reinstating the offense of soliciting, though criticized by associations in the field, and dismissed the sanction of customers. It was followed by the senators in session.
“Our determination and confidence remain intact”
The text should start at second reading in the Assembly. In case of disagreement between the two chambers, the deputies who will have the last word. “The shuttle continues,” have pointed out the Socialist deputies Catherine Contello and Maud Olivier. “Our determination and confidence remain intact, our goal remains the same: to allow some 90% of prostitutes trafficked, the vast majority of women, to finally get out of this true modern slavery.”
189 senators, right, voted against the introduction of a contravention of 1,500 euros for customers of prostitutes, and 107, mostly left for. “The ban on purchase of sexual acts should be seen as an integral and necessary part of the fight against prostitution system,” said Laurence Cohen (CRC). Michelle Miller (PS), it was “clearly reaffirm the abolitionist position of France and allow to say concretely that no one is entitled to exploit the vulnerability and risk or have the body of another person to give it a sexual act with money. ”
But the chairman of the special committee Jean-Pierre Vial (UMP), “customer criminalization included more risks than benefits. It was therefore logical to restore the offense of soliciting.”
“The security forces must have the means to trace networks”
The offense of soliciting was reinstated by 162 senators, 142 UMP and 19 UDI-UC, while 161 voted against: 12 centrists, and members of the Socialist, CRC (Communist, Republican and citizen), RDSE (predominantly PRG) and environmentalist. For Esther Benbassa (environmentalist), the consequences of the offense of soliciting “are terrible for prostitutes.” “It is simply unthinkable to restore this crime that did, in twelve years, proof of its uselessness law enforcement networks and dangerousness against prostitutes.”
But for Jean-Pierre Vial, “The police must have the means to trace the networks.” Penalizing customers had the support of associations advocating the abolition of prostitution (Mouvement du Nid, Scelles Foundation, etc.). But prostitutes associations (Strass, Bus women, etc.) and others who are helping them (Act-up, Doctors of the World) fought him, fearing outbreaks prostitution further underground and more to the few customers thank you.
The bill also provides for strengthening the fight against trafficking in women, assistance to victims and the development of alternatives to prostitution, and a policy of prevention with youth.