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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #235 - Clients of prostitution: Penalize a false good idea (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Wed, 05 Mar 2014 11:26:30 +0200


The recent law on prostitution sparked debate on measures to penalize customers, and their effects. After a first view appeared last month, we continue the discussion on this topic this month. ---- Beyond ethical and feminist prostitution posed questions, we must look to the immediate improvement of living conditions and working sex workers. Many of them denounce the proposed criminalization of clients, highlighting the negative effects of this measure. ---- Efficiency to moderate ---- It is difficult to comment on the expected penalty of the law effects, both sources on prostitution are unreliable. Those who defend the criminalization of customers often rely on the example of Sweden, where the penalty has existed since 1999. Several quantitative surveys of representative samples of Swedish show a slight decrease in the number of customers, which rose from 6.7% in 1999 to 5% in 2011 [ 1 ]. Police in Malmö, Sweden's third largest city, also seeing a decline in street prostitution.

However, one can imagine that prostitution will be moved, or on the Internet or outside cities [ 2 ] or in other countries such as Finland, where the number of places of prostitution increased border [ 3 ]. In France, similar effects relegation prostitution in outlying and less visible than downtowns places were observed when creating the offense of passive soliciting, creating zones of lawlessness for sex workers [ 4 ].

What perverse for prostitute-es?

The community health associations, the Strass sex workers and we want to hear oppose the criminalization of clients because it deteriorates the living and working prostitute-es. Again, the evidence intersect and contradict: a report from the Swedish National Committee in 2003 estimated that there is no evidence that the violence associated with prostitution has increased since the criminalization of clients. A social worker from the center of prostitution in Stockholm says that user-using center and do not mention more situations of violence, and say instead that the law allowed public recognition of their suffering related to their activity of prostitution. Other reports and testimonies contradict this: Edinburgh, Scotland, the association Scot-pep reported 66 incidents of violence in 2006 against 126 in the following year or years of repressive measures against the clients were taken, a statement similar to Montreal in 2001, where the prostitute-es have been three times more violence during a police surveillance of customers [ 5 ].

In addition to the violence, it is the health of prostitutes is at stake: Constraints to hide, they have less access to health care services provided by community health associations [ 6 ]. Penalizing customers also implies to reduce negotiation time to escape the police control, which may encourage people to accept reports lower prices or unprotected. Be against the criminalization of clients of prostitution does not imply fall into the same camp as the authors of the manifesto filthy bastards 343, or ultra-liberal pro-prostitution that consider providing paid sexual services would the peak of sexual liberation.

The urgency of social rights for everyone

We can both criticize the negative effects of the criminalization of clients and be against prostitution. Prostitution result of economic exploitation are often insecure women with little or no qualifications, often undocumented and non-francophones, who prostitute themselves in working conditions extremely difficult, because they have no choice to survive (not to mention those taken in procuring networks, it is obviously necessary to dismantle). Prostitution also endures because patriarchal society erects phallocentrée sexuality, where men and women are interested in social norm. The project libertarian communist society wants to abolish the economic and patriarchal exploitation, it is abolitionist AL. Today, unfortunately, people prostitute themselves to survive: should we expect the advent of an ideal society to give them a minimum of social rights (health insurance, housing allowances, sick leave ...) which are entitled all workers? It is not whether it is acceptable to engage in prostitution, but to ensure that people forced into prostitution can do in less worst possible conditions. It begins by taking proper account of the word of all sex workers, union members or not, by claiming the minimum social rights and an end to all repression of prostitutes, like the student union Solidarity es [ 7 ] which, without advocating regulation, strongly opposes the criminalization of clients and demands more rights for prostitute-es.

Auréline (AL Toulouse)

[ 1 ] 1. See Rue89, "Punishing the clients of prostitutes: the Swedish model is still good" , 25 July 2013.

[ 2 ] See the website of Minorities "The penalty against-productive" , November 3, 2013.

[ 3 ] See Helen Hernandez and Elisabeth Claude, Anarchism, Feminism against the prostitution system , Libertarian World Publishing, 2009.

[ 4 ] See "New lawless areas, prostitutes face arbitrary police", LDH, MRAP, the Union of Lawyers of France and the Union of Magistrates.

[ 5 ] See the website of Minorities "The penalty against-productive" , November 3, 2013.

[ 6 ] See the press release of Family Planning "Yes, you can be a feminist and against the criminalization of clients!

[ 7 ] See the press release: "The call for the abolition of youth prostitution: stop the repressive policies towards prostitutes!
http://www.alternativelibertaire.org/?Clients-de-la-prostitution
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