Very few of these constructed prostitution as a legitimate form of work. At the municipal level, there was evidence of prostitutes being constructed as public nuisances that needed to be confined, and many mayors of both political groups responded to citizen groups to introduce by-laws restricting prostitutes' activities in early This was fuelled by an apparent increased visibility. The commitment to abolitionism prevented specific laws aimed at prostitution which would have been seen as regulation initially, so they often used traffic and parking by-laws to drive out workers, which ultimately mean that they were moved from well-lit busy areas to much more unsafe areas.
As the discourse shifted from abolitionism to security, so did more explicit laws and regulations. This disquiet enabled Nicolas Sarkozy to later mobilize public anxiety about security evident in the elections that year in his Domestic Security bill. The cultural context is the concept of gender equality as stated in the preamble to the and constitution and which had seen an increasing momentum of political gains for women, including the establishment of a women's policy agency in and a ministry of women's rights in However, a significant gap still exists in terms of economic and employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, immigration policies have become increasingly restrictive, and soliciting can result in the removal of a migrant's work permit. The Socialist Party Manifesto calls for holding clients "responsible". The vague language is due to the fact that such measures remain controversial in the Socialist Party.
In , Chantal Brunel , an MP in Sarkozy's ruling right-wing UMP party, and newly appointed head of the equality office,  called for legalizing and regulating maisons closes brothels , see Maisons closes, below akin to the situation in several surrounding countries, claiming that this would make the sex trade safer and transparent.
This caused considerable discussion. Instead, they demand the repeal of the law outlawing solication,   a demand that Chantal Brunel also supports. In June , the socialist women's minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem announced that she wanted to abolish prostitution in France and in Europe. State feminists dominated the discourse in the left-wing Jospin years, pursuing an anti-male-violence campaign. This influence has waned under the security agenda of the succeeding right-wing governments, but is still evident in the new political thinking, as stated in Marie-Jo Zimmermann 's UMP report to the Delegation on Women's Rights on prostitution  in which she echoes the left wing sentiment that the purchase of sex constitutes violence.
The pervasiveness of this thinking is even found in the budget. As in many other countries, debates on the nature and regulation of transactional sex are highly polarized. These positions are the familiar ones that define sex work as violence against women on the one hand, and those who see the problem as stigmatisation and poor working conditions on the other. These result in proposals for either the eradication of prostitution, or social reforms. The dominant abolitionist faction consists of Catholics, family values advocates and sections within feminism and the left. This resulted from a close fit between the government position and the dominant socio-political discourse, making it acceptable to a broad coalition that included abolitionists, secular and religious NGOs, politicians from both ends of the political spectrum, and most French feminists.
This was so dominant under the Jospin years as to appear normative and non-ideological  and above any philosophical debate. In the s, a number of changes shifted the focus of debates. These included an increasing globalization of movements on both parts of the debate, Sweden and the Netherlands were moving to change their legislation in two distinct and different directions, there was political instability in Eastern Europe and there was also increasing concern about AIDS , while state feminists were also playing an increasing part in policy debates. There were however occasional dissenting voices such as the debate in Le Nouvel Observateur in , sparked by the Dutch legislation.
A manifestation of abolitionism was the declaration of May 18, , published in the centre-left Le Nouvel Observateur , called " Le corps n'est pas une marchandise " "The body is not a commodity". This was signed by 35 prominent citizens, and demanded that France and Europe affirm their commitment to the abolition of prostitution, resulting in a debate covering many aspects of the subject, such as choice, autonomy, voice, and agency.
In , cases of pimping were tried, and sentenced to prison. Generally the judiciary were satisfied with the existing legislation,  although also saw the creation of a new unit of the Judicial Police using information technology to combat pimping and trafficking. Transnational operators proved a problem to the police. The report of the Delegation named after its author, Senator Dinah Derycke   was critical of what it saw as the lack of commitment in the fight against prostitution, mainly the difference between France's official abolitionist position and what was occurring in practice.
Prostitution in France
Although the report received a favourable reception in parliament initially, its political impact was limited. Senator Derycke retired due to ill health and died soon after, while other pressures diverted the debate into other related measures, such as organized crime and trafficking and 'modern slavery'. Outside parliament, there was a new activism and demand for action, led by Bus des femmes. However, the new right-wing government elected in Jean-Pierre Raffarin was to completely change the way prostitution was perceived see below. Criticism of the dominant discourse came from prostitute' rights advocates, health associations, such as Cabiria Lyons ,  AIDS groups, and some activists who complained that sex workers were being treated paternalistically and denied voice and moral agency.
They demanded eradication of stigma and restoration of rights, access to health and social services, and better "working conditions". All parties claimed they spoke on behalf of and for sex workers, and shared a concern for their welfare, while denying their opponents did. The catch-cry of "to save the Republic" worked in the favour of the right and President Jacques Chirac and Jean-Pierre Raffarin who came to power as Prime Minister that year.
In justifying these measures, Sarkozy claimed large segments of the population were exposed to "anxiety and legitimate exasperation". Article 42 addressed the protection of women in prostitution, considered victims of exploitation, and these were amplified by the Minister for Equality in the Workplace, Nicole Ameline Sarkozy stated that the poor supported a tough crime agenda and that the general population wanted a stronger stand on law and order.
Passive solicitation had been previously decriminalized by another right-wing government, that of Balladur in Proposed Article removed the necessity of the police having evidence of soliciting, allowing 'dress or posture' to be sufficient. He explained that it was inconvenient for the police to have to obtain evidence of active soliciting. In the Senate, a Government amendment subsequently deleted reference to dress after a popular outcry.
Furthermore, the new legislation allowed for foreigners to have their permits revoked for disturbing public order, allowing deportation to become a penalty for solicitation active or passive , even if they were legal immigrants. It addressed trafficking, by defining it and attached penalties. In the case of alleged victims of trafficking, collaboration allowed them to stay and work till their case was heard. If an exploiters were convicted Article 76 , they could then receive permanent residence.
Finally, article 52 allowed for annual reports to be published on prostitution in France, from onwards. Reactions included demonstrations and petitions.
In the Senate, the measures were seen to be street cleaning, rather than addressing the causes of social problems and social exclusion , and that reconstructing prostitution as a law and order issue would merely drive it underground, depriving sex workers from access to services, and damaging AIDS campaigns.
It was noted that there was no action to deal with organized crime or those who might be exploiting sex workers. The issue of passive solicitation caused particular concern since it could mean that any woman could be arrested for the way she dressed, and it was particularly hard to define. The judiciary were equally unhappy with evidence that solely consisted of police testimony and were reluctant to convict. The trafficking policy seemed more aimed at the porousness of borders than at actual criminals, while migrant sex workers appeared to be particularly discriminated against, since they were simultaneously 'rescued' and deported without in any way addressing their vulnerability.
Calls for aiming trafficking policy at traffickers rather than sex workers came from the Senate Law Commission, the Delegations for Women's Rights in the Senate and National Assembly, as well as from the opposition. In the Senate hearings into prostitution that year, Claude Boucher of Bus des Femmes , a sex worker support group, described how sex workers sell sex to survive, unable to make ends meet on social security or the minimum wage. To treat them as criminals, she argued, would just make them more vulnerable.
Sarkozy did not attempt to produce a comprehensive policy on prostitution, but rather a quick fix, addressing immediate concerns of voters in terms of visibility. This avoided inconveniencing the middle-class clients, who might have created more opposition. The governmental policy tended to portray all immigrant women in prostitution, the most vulnerable, as victims of trafficking and exploitation, and their pimps as "foreigners".
In , the police dismantled many trafficking networks, mainly involving Eastern Europe and Africa. The effects were largely those of displacement, pushing their activities into isolated areas, and the am timeslot, isolated them from service agencies, exposed them to violence and destroyed the historical working relationship with the police. By "rescuing" these victims of trafficking and returning them home, he proposed to solve the situation.
I hope that these women will have a better future than facing degrading encounters night after night". In drawing this distinction, Sarkozy made frequent reference to the inability to speak French, constructing the issue as a defense of French. He suggested that this made them vulnerable to exploitation, and that the Police would take them home.
This last point became a target of those who believed they were being sent back to the conditions that made them leave in the first place. Changes to trafficking policy in were more influenced by European and international influence than domestic concerns, but trafficking was finally defined as well as giving victims residence permits in exchange for testimony.
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Critics doubted the practicality or whether the benefits were equally distributed between the women and the authorities, an expression of the tension between human rights and public security. In April , Senator Nicole Borvo PCF attempted to introduce a private bill to repeal the Sarkozy law, arguing that it had been ineffective, and turned victims into criminals.
The framework was very similar to the Deryck report, depicting prostitution as violence rather than law and order, and seeking punishment of exploiters, but also measures for prevention and support. The sale of sexual acts means women's bodies are made available for men, independently of the wishes of those women. In October and November , French lawmakers began debating a proposal to punish customers of prostitution.
Within the National Assembly, most of those who supported the bill were MPs from the Socialist Party , which dominates the house.
Adieux à la Garde impériale - Napoléon Bonaparte
Critics  say most of the frames nuisance, victim, deviant, security threat in which sex work is discussed in France are constructed without the input of sex workers who are depicted as voiceless and agencyless. CSA,  a polling organization, has carried out several surveys on prostitution in France. A telephone survey analyzed French attitudes about prostitution. When analyzed and broken down by age and gender, the survey showed that some people gave contradictory answers: For example, some people appeared to favor both the re-opening of the maisons brothels and the interdiction of all forms of prostitution probably believing that both solutions would work, as the survey showed that most people were dissatisfied with the existing legal situation.
Older people and men were more accepting of the idea of having legalized brothels. Studies from estimated that about 15, - 20, women work as prostitutes in France. Sex work in France, like other countries takes many forms. These include street prostitution , escort services , bars, and apartment prostitution. Street prostitution is partly controlled by pimps, while other workers are autonomous prostitutes.
In some areas, such as Lyon or the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, sex workers use vans see illustration.
Escort services where one hires a woman or man for "entertainment" or companionship, but usually including sex, are less common in France, compared to North America. In bars , women try to induce men to buy expensive drinks along with sexual acts. Prices are set by the bar owner, and the money is shared between the owner and the prostitute. Pigalle peepshows are well known for practicing such scams.
Prostitution in apartments is advertised in adult newspapers and magazines. Swingers' clubs are places where partner-swapping occurs and sometimes paid prostitutes are in attendance, as well as "amateur" women and couples who get in without paying the flat-rate charge of about 80 to euros that men pay, including food, drink and unlimited sex sessions, with the added twist that these are performed in the open in full view of all the guests.
Brothels Maisons closes remain illegal, but operate discreetly and clandestinely. Since their official closure in , there have been periodic calls for their re-opening. A proposal by Chantal Brunel for a return to regulated brothels was opposed by French sex workers see Politics, above. Meanwhile, Spain has exploited the difference between the two countries by opening brothels along the French-Spanish border.
Nicolas Sarkozy recognized that the traditional sex worker was part of France's national cultural heritage. It exhibits Polissons et galipettes , a collection of short erotic silent movies that were used to entertain brothel visitors, and copies of Le Guide Rose , a contemporary brothel guide that also carried advertising. An exhibition about historical Paris brothels took place from November to January in an art gallery across the street from the former Le Chabanais. France is a destination, transit, and a limited source country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking.
Sex trafficking networks controlled by Nigerians, Bulgarians, Romanians , Chinese, and French citizens force women into prostitution through debt bondage , physical force, and psychological coercion, including the invocation of voodoo and drug addiction. The number of children exploited in commercial sex has increased in recent years. The government estimates the majority of the 30, people in prostitution in France, about 90 percent of whom are foreign, are likely trafficking victims. Trafficking of male victims for sex trafficking has increased.
Nigerian trafficking networks use migrant and drug trafficking routes through Libya and Italy to transport girls to France. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. France Prostitution articles Areas. Loi Marthe Richard. Les amis du bus des femmes. Red-light districts.
Bois de Boulogne Quartier Pigalle. Main article: History of prostitution in France. Main article: Loi Marthe Richard. See also: Human trafficking in France. Speculum ; Vol. Women of the Romance Countries. Library of Alexandria. Retrieved August 3, Medieval Prostitution ; trans.
Lydia G. Rue du Poil-au-Con II: Traditions ; p. Rue Transnonnain. The Swedish Parrot. Working papers on Pornography and Prostitution Report 1. Empowering prostitutes: A proposal for international legal reform. Baldwin History Channel. Bibcode : Natur. Archived from the original on 14 February Retrieved 29 October London: Daily Mail.
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