Yesterday, French lawmakers passed a law that makes it illegal to pay for sex and imposes fines of up to $4,270 on prostitutes’ clients. Around 60 sex workers staged a protest during the final debate on the bill that will affect the livelihoods of at least 30,000 prostitutes in France, 4 in 5 of whom are foreigners.
Some carried a banner reading “Don’t liberate me, I’ll take care of myself!”, while another poster read, in English, “Sex work is work”. All European countries penalise pimping, but France will become the 5th to punish the clients of prostitutes, along with Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Britain.
Sweden in 1999 became the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay for sex, in a bid to lower demand. Lawmaker Maud Olivier, the architect of the bill, has argued repeatedly that prostitutes should be seen as victims and no longer as delinquents. She said: “This law is essential to ending the idea that it is normal to buy someone’s body.”…. even if they use d money to buy houses in Lekki, Nigeria….