The High Council for Equality between Women and Men welcomes the assessment of the law of April 13, 2016

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PRESS RELEASE OF JUNE 23, 2020

In France, the HCE (High Council for Equality between Women and Men) welcomes the evaluation of the law of April 13, 2016 and calls for giving full weight to France’s abolitionist policy

The HCE, mobilized since its creation in favor of the abolition of the prostitution system, welcomes the conclusions of the evaluation of the law of April 13, 2016 aimed at strengthening the fight against the prostitution system and supporting prostitutes, carried out by the general inspectorates of administration (IGA), justice (IGJ) and social affairs (IGAS).

The mission highlights the increase in the cost of the measures provided for by law, both in its support component for people in prostitution and in its repressive component in the direction of the purchase of sexual acts and procuring and of trafficking in human beings:

  • In four years, “the fight against procuring and trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation has recorded increasing results”, the number of criminal investigations carried out in France on these subjects having increased by 54% in four years. But the mission stresses that the means available to the investigating services are not yet “up to” the phenomenon.
  • Since the implementation of the law, nearly 5,000 “clients” of prostitution have been arrested: 799 in 2016, to 2072 in 2017 and 1,939 in 2018. The mission emphasizes, however, that this policy is unevenly implemented in the region. territory.
  • In June 2019, around 230 people in prostitution were benefiting from an exit from prostitution, this figure rose to 395
  • In June 2020 according to the SDFE. These figures, which are constantly increasing, are still low, as the report underlines, even though the prefects questioned in the report consider, in their great majority, that this device is effective.

Overall, the law of April 13, 2016 works as soon as it is applied, and must benefit from strengthened means to allow its full implementation.

The mission recalls that the 2016 law reaffirmed France’s abolitionist commitment, with the objective of “treating the prostitution system as a whole”. To produce the full effects of this ambitious policy, the HCE calls for a strengthened commitment on the part of all the ministries responsible for its implementation.

The High Council for Equality (HCE) is the independent national consultative body responsible for the protection of women’s rights and the promotion of gender equality. Created in 2013, the HCE is enshrined in the law relating to equality and citizenship of January 27, 2017. Its 54 members represent the diversity of actors in gender equality policies. The HCE provides its expertise to public authorities and mobilizes society through its work of consultation, evaluation of public policies, formulation of recommendations, and animation of public debate.

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