France is considering criminalizing sex buyers, while decriminalizing women in prostitution, as Sweden does now. The proposed law also provides support for the rehabilitation of survivors of prostitution, and includes the prosecution of pimps including website hosts.
According to a recent poll, 73% of French voters think that the most effective way to prevent prostitution is to hold sex buyers accountable. A group of these men including the lawyer of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (who is soon to stand trial on charges of aggravated pimping in France is attempting to block this law that challenges the institution of prostitution. The group of johns are running a PR campaign, “Hands off my whore,” a spinoff of a 1971 manifesto, Hands off my body, written by women claiming the right to abortion. France’s minister for women’s rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem responded eloquently that the 1971 manifesto had been signed by women “who demanded to be able to freely decide what to do with their bodies” while “The 343 Bastards [as they named themselves] demand the right to decide what to do with the bodies of others.”
The proposed law is supported by the Zeromacho network: 2,000 men who say no to prostitution: “We refuse to live our sexuality through commercial relations, and we oppose the prostituting system. We consider, therefore, that prostituters (i.e. clients) should be made responsible for their acts, which must be penalized.”