There continues to be a debate (particularly among libertarians) over the basis for criminalizing prostitution when engaged by consenting adults. The French National Assembly however has reached a curious resolution in dropping any penalties for selling sex while making it a crime to pay for sex. Paying for sex services now carries a fine of 1,500 euros ($1,700). Repeat offenders could be fined up to 3,750 euros ($4,260). In addition to the fines, johns will have to take a course on the plight of sex workers.
Prostitutes themselves will no longer be fined or jailed for public soliciting. Even more striking is the fact that foreign sex workers actively trying to get out of prostitution can receive a six-month residential permit and state funding to prevent prostitution.
Four other European countries — Sweden, Norway, Iceland and the UK — criminalize the purchasing of sex.