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The French Parliament has begun debate on a bill to institute penalties for individuals who seek to purchase sexual services. Under current French law prostitution is legal, however soliciting and procuring are illegal, including working in or operating a brothel. Maud Olivier – one of the Members of Parliament (MP) who introduced the legislation – wrote in a report to parliament, “There would be no prostitution without clients – that goes without saying. But we also know there will always be clients for prostitution. Our ambition should be to try to reduce the number.”
Presently, a prostitute convicted of soliciting will face a fine of €3,750 ($5,096) and a two-month prison sentence. The legislation before the French Parliament would remove this penalty and instead penalize the customer with either a €1,500 ($2,000) fine and/or be required to attend a course about the conditions in which prostitution is carried out. The fine for repeat offenders could be doubled.
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