Everyone knows the trafficking is simply slavery by another name. In their hearts, everyone knows that prostitution is not a victimless crime, and that it hurts women and girls.
At last, France is connecting the dots.
In a cross-party proposal, various French MPs (members of parliament) are offering legislation that would — as in Iceland, Norway and Sweden — criminalize the men who patronize prostitutes (the “johns”) by arresting them and either fining them over three thousand dollars ($3000) for each offence, or imprisoning them.
“To penalise clients is to make them understand that they are participating in a form of exploitation of the vulnerability of others,” said the report, citing research indicating that 80% of prostitutes are non-French women and girls who have been enslaved by traffickers. Such traffickers, usually male, often promise impoverished young women that they will find work as cooks and maids in France. Once they control the women – drugging and beating them, raping them, and stealing their passports – they force them to have sex with up to 30 strange men a day.
Such enforced sex is, of course, rape. Thus men in France who pay prostitutes are most likely exploiting someone unable to refuse sex, since the consequence of refusal is more severe abuse.
Of course, this proposed legislation criminalizing men who pay for sex may not pass in France. But it already did in three Scandinavian countries, and if it fails, French legislators will have a lot to answer for. There will be hard-to-answer questions, and references to France’s famed “liberté, égalité, fraternité”.
All people of sense and sensibility must hope for such new laws, however, in the nation of the blue, white and red tricolor flag.
The next question: when will similar legislation be passed here in the home of the red, white and blue, where women from many lands, especially from Latin America, are held as sex slaves against their will?