France parliament backs proposal to ban prostitution

[JURIST] The French parliament approved a proposal [resolution, PDF, in French] on Wednesday to ban prostitution [JURIST news archive]. The non-binding resolution was backed by a show of hands and is expected to be followed by a bill. Prostitution is not currently outlawed in France although certain linked activities are. France's sex worker's trade union, STRASS [advocacy website, in French], opposes the proposed bill, claiming that it would further repress sex workers by endangering their health, livelihood and safety. However, French-led men's initiative ZeroMacho [advocacy website] approved of the attempt to criminalize prostitution. A vote on the bill is expected in the coming days.

Other countries have also attempted to outlaw portions of the prostitution trade. In September 2010 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (OSCJ) [official website] struck down [JURIST report] several provisions of Canada's anti-prostitution laws, citing the danger they generate for sex workers. In Canada, prostitution itself is legal even though many ancillary acts are not. In March, the Supreme Court of Canada [official website] agreed to review a British Columbia Court of Appeal [official website] decision allowing a challenge [JURIST report] to the country's anti-prostitution laws. In November 2009, the Constitutional Court [official website, Taiwanese] of Taiwan ruled that a law penalizing prostitutes [JURIST report] and not their clients was unconstitutional because it undermined equality under the country's constitution.

 

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