The demonstrators outside parliament in Paris, numbering about 60, carried banners and placards one of which read: “Don’t liberate me, I’ll take care of myself”, the AFP news agency reports. Members of the Strass sex workers’ union say it will affect the livelihoods of prostitutes, estimated to number between 30,000 and 40,000. But supporters of the law have said it will help fight trafficking networks.
It will also make it easier for foreign prostitutes to get a temporary residence permit in France if they agree to find jobs outside prostitution. “The most important aspect of this law is to accompany prostitutes, give them identity papers because we know that 85% of prostitutes here are victims of trafficking,” Socialist MP Maud Olivier, who sponsored the legislation, told the Associated Press news agency.
The law was passed in the final vote on the bill in the lower house of parliament by 64 to 12 with 11 abstentions, France’s Le Monde newspaper reports.