France is the latest country to adopt the “Nordic approach” to prostitution laws, first introduced in Sweden in 1999 reinforcing calls to adopt the effective measure in Australia.
The French National Assembly this week passed the measure by a vote of 64 to 12.
Australian Christian Lobby spokeswoman Wendy Francis said it was time for Australian lawmakers to introduce the same laws in Australia.
This weekend Ms Francis will be advocating for the need to adopt the Nordic approach at Australia’s first anti-prostitution conference in Melbourne.
“To see France adopt this legislation is a welcome development and reinforces the message that prostitution is harmful and exploitative of women,” Ms Francis said.
“The Nordic approach targets the demand driving the prostitution industry without criminalizing prostituted women by outlawing the purchase of sex but not the sale.
“On a visit to Sweden I saw clear evidence of the law’s success in reducing prostitution and other exploitative practices such as strip clubs.
“The success of this approach has resulted in other countries such as Canada, Norway, Iceland, and South Korea and now France taking on the approach in an effort to reduce the number of women exploited in this way.
“If Australia is successful in reducing prostitution it will also lower the number of women being trafficked into cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.”
ACL has been advocating for this approach to be adopted by Australian states, making submissions to the ACT, Tasmania, NSW, and WA parliaments in recent years.