NZHerald 16 November 2013
Sex, politics and morality: Put the three together, and you are sure to end up with a steaming tub of trouble.
This is what is happening in France, where plans to curb the sex industry by criminalising the clients of prostitutes have caused an almighty row.
Feminists and Socialist ministers are punching it out with libertines, sex workers fear the change will make their lives more dangerous and some experts wonder whether the law will be workable.
A bill due to come before Parliament at the end of this month will make those paying for sex liable to a fine of 1500 ($2440) and double that if they are caught again.
Courts will also have the power to order those convicted to attend a “prostitution awareness programme”, similar to programmes on alcohol abuse for drunk drivers.
The bill includes financial help of several hundred euros to help wean prostitutes off sex work.