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France bars payment for sex

Thursday, April 07, 2016 - 01:16

French sex workers protest as the country's lower house bans payments from clients. Paul Chapman reports.

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France's prostitutes say their livelihoods are under threat from new legislation...and they're not taking it lying down. The lower house on Wednesday passed new rules banning potential clients paying for sex. It's meant to make life tougher for human traffickers but the sex workers say they'll suffer as well. (SOUNDBITE)(French) ORNELA, SEX WORKER, SAYING: "We won't be able to declare what we earn any more. We won't be able to pay our social taxes or our bills. That's why we're angry." That's not the view of these counter-demonstrators, a feminist group who believe fining clients seeking to buy sex is the way forward. (SOUNDBITE)(French) CLAIRE QUIDET, MEMBER OF ANTI-PROSTITUTION GROUP 'LE NID' SAYING: "Prostitutes will no longer be seen as criminals. When they're abused they can file a complaint at a police station which they did not dare to do before. The power relationship with their clients will be completely different." The new legislation will mean those seeking to buy sex face fines starting at 1,700 dollars while the act of soliciting itself will no longer be punished. The government says about 90 per cent of the nation's estimated 20-40,000 sex workers are victims of Nigerian, Romanian and Chinese trafficking networks.

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France bars payment for sex

Thursday, April 07, 2016 - 01:16