Espace presse

Speech by Yves Charpenel on Violence & torture against women & girls in trafficking & prostitution: Educating service providers


Dear friends,

I’m here to give you some encouraging information in the fight in my country against the serious violence suffered by the victims of the prosperous system of sexual exploitation.

you know that France adopted in April 2016 a law that makes people involved in the sexual trafficking system victims in their own right.

Two years after its adoption the law begins to produce promising effects around four objectives

the first concerns the situation of victims through a system that facilitates protection , access to social housing and reintegration actions, provided they have left prostitution

the second reinforces the severity of punishment against the exploiters whose penalty is aggravated in case of tortures or serious violence, regarding nearly 500 offenders condemned per year

the third is to penalize the buyers of sexual services that thus create the demand and maintain the violence suffered by thousands of victims of which 95% women

several thousand clients, men exclusively, were thus arrested and had to choose between a fine or an internship inspired by those planned for domestic violence

the fourth aims to sensitize public actors as well as NGOs and public opinion to the intrinsic violence generated by sexual exploitation



in this context I want to share with you three good news:

  • the 25th January the largest congress of francophone specialists of brain sciences gathered in Paris has decided to launch studies on the PTSD of victims of trafficking of human beings. this will better assess and repair the immediate and lasting consequences of the violence suffered
  • The first February, at a conference held at the French Supreme Court, the presidents of the two highest European courts reaffirmed their opposition to all forms of merchandising the human body.
  • the same day, the constitutional council validated the conformity of the penalization of the customers with the constitutional principles of our Republic.

    The law was accused of violating the principle of protection of privacy (of clients) and the freedom of enterprise of sex sellers.

    The legislator considered that the vast majority of people who engage in prostitution are victims of procuring and trafficking and that these offenses are made possible by the existence of a demand for prized sexual relations.


By making the choice to penalize the sex-buyers, the legislator intended to ensure the safeguarding of the dignity of the human person against these forms of enslavement and pursued the objective of constitutional value of safeguarding public order and crime prevention.

the way is thus clearer for the effective recognition, by all the actors in our societies, of the reality of this violence, always excessive and sometimes extreme, inflicted on the most vulnerable

the SCELLES Foundation, which has played its part in the progress just mentioned, calls on all organizations represented here not to release their vigilance and their efforts in this struggle, which is essential to a true gender equality.


Yves Charpenel, President of the Fondation Scelles, First Honorary state prosecutor of the Supreme Court in France


>>> PDF version



Violences et tortures des femmes et des filles dans le contexte de la traite et de la prostitution

WHERE: UN Commission on Status of Women, New York
ON: 12 March
AT: 6:15 pm
VENUE: The Armenian Centre – Guild Hall

Violences sexuelles, tortures, blessures, menaces, mise en danger de mort, atteintes à l’intégrité physique et psychique impactent fortement les victimes du système prostitutionnel.

Des survivantes qui fournissent des services directs et une protection aux femmes torturées et exploitées, ainsi que des experts internationaux dans le domaine de la torture non-étatique (NST) qui plaident en faveur de changements législatifs et systémiques pour combattre la violence sexiste liée à la torture viendront témoigner lors de cet événement.


Yves Charpenel, pour la Fondation Scelles, fera part de l'expérience française de la loi du 13 avril 2016 qui a opté pour une approche globale de lutte contre le système prostitutionnel qui criminalise l'achat d'actes sexuels et renforce le soutien, la protection et  l'accompagnement des victimes vers des parcours de sortie de la prostitution.

CHAIR: Emerita Law Prof. Jackie Jones, Chair, Wales Assembly of Women, EWLA
Jeanette Westbrook – survivor of family-based torture and human trafficking
Summer Dickerson - survivor of NST in prostitution
Megan Walker - London Abused Women's Centre, Canada
Christine Stark - survivor of NST in human trafficking
Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald – Persons Against Non-State Torture
Yves Charpenel - President Scelles Foundation
Jackie Jones – WAW, EWLA, Campaigning for a UN Treaty to eliminate VAWG

 >>> Flyer de l'événement


La prostitution considérée comme l'exploitation de la vulnérabilité d'une personne dans une déclaration commune des diplomaties françaises et suédoises

Dans une tribune commune, Jean-Yves Le Drian et son homologue suédoise Margot Wallström unissent les diplomaties féministes et abolitionnistes française et suédoise pour lutter contre l'exploitation sexuelle des femmes et des filles. Un véritable temps fort pour l'unification des forces en présence pour lutter de manière globale contre l'exploitation sexuelle en Europe et dans le Monde. " La Suède et la France se sont clairement prononcées contre la normalisation de la prostitution comme emploi. Nous sommes d’avis que la prostitution devrait toujours être considérée comme l’exploitation de la vulnérabilité d’une personne, et donc jamais comme un emploi. Nous refusons l’utilisation de l’expression « travail du sexe » et combattrons son usage."

>>> Texte de la déclaration conjointe



« DOMMAGE QU’ELLE NE SOIT PAS MORTE » : Quand des militant.e.s pro « sex-work » souhaitent la mort d’une survivante de la prostitution…

le 30 novembre dernier, Rosen Hicher, a été victime d'une attaque verbale de la part de militants pro « travail du sexe », sur le plateau de l'émission de C8 "Balance ton post" consacrée à la pénalisation du client. Alors qu'elle était en train de témoigner sur son vécu en tant que survivante de la prostitution, et de la violence à laquelle elle avait du faire face, un des invités, ainsi qu'une militante du Strass ont déploré qu'elle ait survécu. Une violence intolérable envers une survivante qui n’a pas soulevé beaucoup d’indignation.

Sur le plateau se mêlaient, en plus des intervenant.e.s classiques de l’émission, un panel de militant.e.s pro « travail du sexe » d’un côté, et abolitionnistes de l’autre.

Côté réglementariste :
Samantha Dubois, personne prostituée et militante du STRASS,
Thierry Schaffauser, personne prostituée et porte-parole du STRASS,
Roland Jaccard, écrivain, journaliste (Causeur, Le Monde) et psychanalyste suisse, signataire de « l’appel des 343 salauds ».

Côté abolitionniste :
Solveig Halloin, militante abolitionniste,
Johanna Vrillaud, étudiante et militante abolitionniste,
Rosen Hicher, militante abolitionniste et survivante de la prostitution.

>>> lien vers la vidéo de l’émission


Conviction of Jürgen Rudloff: The end of Paradise!

After 4 years of legal proceedings, the owner of Paradise, a German brothel chain, has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for complicity in human trafficking, forced prostitution, and fraud. All profits gained from these crimes, amounting to 1.3 million euros, has been confiscated. This judicial decision is historic for Germany, a country for which their regulatory policy surrounding prostitution has rendered them the “brothel of Europe.”



With this decision, justice has been served to some of the biggest stars of German society. Symbols of economic success and a prostitution “free from taboos,” Jürgen Rudloff, the owner of a number of “Paradise” brothels across Germany, and his head of marketing, Michaël Beretin, who was also sentenced to 3 years and 3 months without parole, are regulars on televised talk shows and realty television programs (such as Bordell SOS and Puff my Pimp). Will their arrests, which were announced on the 28th of February, finally incite Germany to challenge their current regulatory approach towards prostitution?


The Scelles Foundation in the press

  • (ES - Milenio) El ser humano no está a la venta
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