French lawmakers will vote on Wednesday (4th December) whether to implement a law that penalises the clients of sex workers. Legislators are proposing sanctions, including incremental fines and ultimately up to 6 months in prison for repeat ‘offenders’. The proposed legislation has as its basis the controversial ‘Swedish Model’ which incorrectly purports to ‘decriminalise’ sex workers whilst criminalising clients. The model attempts to ‘end demand’ for sexual services which proponents of the Swedish Model argue leads to increased violence against women and human trafficking. The proposals are ideologically driven rather than evidence-based and incorrectly views sex work through the prism of ‘violence against women’ whilst also irresponsibly conflating trafficking with sex work. The consultation process and proposals excluded the voices of current sex workers and the sex worker rights organisations that advocate for a rights-based approach to policy and legislation.
The French proposals for the criminalisation of clients is not a human rights-based response to sex work. NSWP stands in solidarity with sex workers and sex workers’ rights organisations in France in opposing these proposals to criminalise the clients of sex workers.
You can download the full statement as a 3 page PDF in English below.