Under the new law, pimping and brothels remain illegal, while it is legal to offer your body for sale but illegal for someone to buy it.
Offenders may be fined up to €3,750 (about $4,300) and required to attend classes about the conditions of s3x workers.
The law also establishes measures to help prostitutes find new work, and makes it easier for foreign s3x workers to acquire temporary residency permits.
France’s Socialist government welcomed the new legislation. The bill’s architect
Maud Olivier told AFP:
This law is essential to ending the idea that it is normal to buy someone’s body.”
The goal is to diminish [prostitution], protect prostitutes who want to quit, and change mentalities. We will succeed in changing the mentality, but new efforts are needed to raise awareness, to train police officers and magistrates.”
But some of France’s nearly 30,000 prostitutes did not share Olivier’s conviction. About 60 demonstrators, including s3x workers, protested the new law outside the Parliament, some carrying a sign that read, “Don’t Liberate Me, I’ll Take Care of Myself!”