BBC News 7 Dec 2011
France’s parliament has backed a proposal to fight prostitution by making payment for sex a crime punishable by fines and prison. The National Assembly approved by a show of hands a cross-party, non-binding resolution which is due to be followed by a bill. Six-month prison sentences and fines of 3,000 euros (£2,580; $4,000) are envisaged for clients of prostitutes. Some campaigners reject the bill, advocating prostitutes’ rights instead. Around 20,000 people are believed to be working as prostitutes in France. France has been committed to abolishing the practice in principle since 1960. The resolution said the country should seek “a society without prostitution” and that sex work “should in no case be designated as a professional activity”.