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French Law on Prostitution: A new model of combat against the prostitution system

During the international forum « Sexual Exploitation: A Human Rights Violation » in Mexico, Yves Charpenel, the Fondation Scelles’ President, delivered a long-awaited speech dealing with the contents of the French law (dated April 13, 2016) against the system of prostitution. The prospects of this law are revolutionary as they punish the purchase of a sexual act yet also decriminalize victims of this exploitation.


Discours d'Yves Charpenel au Forum contre l'exploitation sexuelle à Mexico le 6 octobre 2016



A cultural change

France, Sweden and Norway support the Nordic model which protects victims of prostitution and convicts the perpetrators such as organizers or purchasers. Fondation Scelles was rewarded for its role in the making and passing of this historical legislative piece,  and relentless combat against sexual exploitation. The celebration took place at the Gala #HajoEnBlanco (white sheet) last October  that included a special appreciation for the Mexican and international partners that were involved. In 2015, the Mexican government identified 1814 human trade victims among whom 784 were exploited for sexual purposes. Legal developments are still under discussion in Mexico; however, 13 of 31 states in Mexico have regulationist policies with   “prostitution permitted zones”, proving that more work needs to be done   against sexual trafficking.


La Fondation Scelles récompensée à Mexico


Multiple means of fight against sexual exploitation


In the new French law, the reversed criminal charge no longer rests on victims but on clients, which allows judges to combat against the global criminal prostitution market, which makes purchasers liable to proceedings. Above all, fighting against prostitution means  “fighting against a system, against an organization”. Exploited persons are at long last recognized as victims with the removal of the solicitation offense.. Indeed, those who were once exploited in the system of human trafficking and prostitution will be protected and taken care of more efficiently.


Read also >>> : « The reversed criminal charge in the combat against the prostitution system » by Y. Charpenel


The judges’ work should be easier thanks to the new French law. This reversed criminal charge will allow judges to use investigative tools as soon as the nature of the organized crime is established. The cooperation from victim’s will also reinforce the fight against  pimping networks, despite how web-based procurers believe their activities are safe behind the screen.


Read also >>> : Report on the April 13th 2016 French law at the international Forum against sexual exploitation by Yves Charpenel (VIDEO)


Beforehand application decrees implementation

Only a few days after the law passed, the French Minister of Justice (attorney general) sent a thought to all the French parquets (State Counsel’s Office) that asked « the prosecutors to draw the consequences of the abrogation of the soliciting offence and gave details concerning the new sexual purchase offence »


Read also >>> April 13th law : the Garde des Sceaux has already sent a circular to the parquets


As early as the month of May, a client was arrested for the first time.This took place in the jurisdiction of Guillaume Lescaux, the Fontainebleau public prosecutor, who spoke at the Scelles Foundation about the need to implement a global fight including “awareness sessions” for the clients. To date, 249 clients have already been reported.


Read also >>> Interview of Guillaume Lescaux, the first prosecutor who has applied the new prostitution law


The Scelles Foundation in the press

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