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Assessing the criminalization of procuring in France

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This project aims to assess how the law on procuring is implemented and what is the impact for prostitutes/sex workers based on a study of case law and interviews with actors.

The law passed on April 13 1946, known as the Marthe Richard law, abolished the regime ofregulated prostitution in France and is considered as a turning point from the treatment of prostitution under a health and moral control prism to the prism of the protection of women.

76 years later, the provisions relating to procuring in French criminal law have changed only slightly. If the other forms of criminalization of prostitution (soliciting and the purchase ofsexual services) have been the subject of recent research, the implementation of laws on procuring is less studied and never evaluated with regard to the impact on people in prostitution.

The law on procuring is a policy that is explicitly concerned with the fights against the exploitation of women. Our project aims at questionning the reality of the equation between an extended application of the concept of procuring and the fight against gender inequalities and violence against women. If a reduced application of the concept of procuring seems protective, could not an extended application have the consequence of leading to discriminatory treatment and degrading the working and living conditions of people engaged in sex work/prostitution instead of reducing their exposure to gender violence?

Poster of the project - June 2023