European Women’s Lobby Européen Des Femmes : France Is Paving the Way Towards a Progressive Europe Free From Prostitution
Brussels, 5 December 2013] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) warmly welcomes the vote of the French Parliament yesterday, which adopted a law proposal aiming at abolishing the system of prostitution. After two years of debate, French parliamentarians decided to support a new legislation aiming at supporting prostituted persons and considering prostitution as an obstacle to gender equality and a violation of human rights and dignity.
The law will address all actors involved in the system of prostitution, in a comprehensive way. Persons in prostitution won’t be criminalized anymore and on the contrary, will be offered alternatives to exit the system of prostitution. The demand for prostitution is recognized as the main driver of the exploitation, and the purchase of sex will therefore be criminalized. The fight against all forms of procuring and trafficking is strengthened, highlighting the links between prostitution and trafficking. Finally, prevention and education actions will be implemented to raise awareness to the reality of prostitution as a form of violence.
“France is now joining Sweden, Norway and Iceland, whose successful and progressive policies on prostitution are based on the fundamental principles of equality between women and men, human dignity, solidarity and justice. We congratulate the French parliamentarians for their courageous stance against the system of prostitution which exploits the most vulnerable, perpetuates male domination and fuels trafficking in women”, says Viviane Teitelbaum, President of the European Women’s Lobby.
Together with the 200 NGOs from all over Europe, which have signed the Brussels’ Call ‘Together for a Europe free from prostitution’, the EWL sees the French developments on prostitution as a sign that mentalities are evolving towards shared values of equality and dignity.