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Le Monde - France | Friday, January 6, 2012

Prostitution must remain visible

French socialist and conservative deputies have introduced a joint bill in the National Assembly in December according to which clients of prostitutes could be sentenced to up to two months in jail or fines of up to 3,750 euros. The bill is half-hearted, writes sociologist Tülay Umay in the left-liberal daily Le Monde: "This bill appears to seek to abolish prostitution by punishing the clients. But it only attacks the most visible element, street prostitution. In fact it is prohibitionist. Prohibition, as opposed to abolition, does not seek to abolish prostitution but to deny it, to banish it to where it is no longer visible. ...  Prostitutes will be forced to retreat to places where violence can be applied unimpeded. This legislation will allow citizens to suspend reality: if you decide not to see it, prostitution will no longer exist."

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