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French minister wants prostitution to 'disappear'

Friday, June 29, 2012


French women new Child Rights Minister Najat Belkacem Vallaud-stated mission is to initiate the eradication of prostitution in France by pushing a tough law against their clients. Some sex workers and the police see things differently

French prostitutes' organizations on Sunday heaped scorn on the new minister of women's rights after she said she wanted to eradicate the sex trade in France.

In an interview with the weekly Le Journal de Dimanche, 34-year-old minister Vallaud-Najat Belkacem (pictured) said: "My goal, like that of the [newly elected] Socialist Party, is seen to prostitution disappears. "

In December 2011, an initiative of all parties in the French parliament's lower house came with a bill that would criminalize paying for sex.

Getting the proposal on the statute books would be an immediate priority - but Vallaud-Belkacem, who says he has the support of the interior minister, Manuel Valls, prosecuting the customer is only the first step.

"The abolitionist position is confirmed by the fact that there are inadequate resources at our disposal ... to protect the vast majority of prostitutes who are victims of violence by organized criminal networks and their pimps," he said.

"The question is not whether we want to abolish prostitution - the answer is yes -. But rather how can we have the means to do"

According to Guy Goffroy, one of the authors of the bill and member of the ruling conservative UMP former, 90 percent of prostitutes working in France are victims of international traffickers.

'Cero legitimacy "

But sex workers contacted by France 24 said the bill, if passed, would penalize what they insist is a perfectly legitimate livelihoods and jeopardize the already precarious living prostitutes.

"What right has Vallaud Belkacem, or any other person has to tell me what I can or I can not do with my body," said Chloe Navarro, prostitutes' union representative strass "in its place in the" Solidays "awareness AIDS music festival on Sunday in Paris.

"Are you going to review all the rooms in France to ensure that there has been a financial transaction for sex?"

"We are a union representing the rights of sex workers, but she did not even talk to us or hear our point of view," he said. "She has zero legitimacy."

His view was shared by France Arnould, head of the Amis du Bus des Femmes, an association created by former sex workers, which provides medical and social support for prostitutes working.

Arnould argued that the campaign Vallaud-Belkacem was "misplaced" and that prostitutes who work "by choice" could not be considered victims in the same way as women trafficked to France from eastern Europe and Africa by gangs violent and of exploitation.

Driving "further underground 'prostitution

"If we can win the fight against pimps and traffickers and criminal networks, the possible problem that might have to prostitution?" Asked. "These women-and men - mostly do not have pimps [pimping is illegal in France]. Are a part of civilian life. They pay their taxes. Are citizens."

"Toughen laws against sex trade only drive prostitution further underground. Will be bad for prostitutes and will be bad for society at large."

In an article accompanying the interview Dimanche Journal, an unidentified police said high penalizing customers would be difficult to apply, and the desire to completely abolish prostitution was "a pious illusion."

"The only difference would penalize the customer who is that what is actually happening on the streets only take place in clubs, hotels and massage parlors," said

Asked about the possibility of complete eradication of prostitution, said: "Do we really need to punish these poor women more?"

"We could not ask policemen to enforce the ban, and I can not see a judge condemn a woman for selling your body. Trying to abolish prostitution would be a disaster".
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