This is our truth, tell us yours
Given thenews from France about a decision to makeit illegal to pay for sex there, this post deserves another outing. I’ll add something else; in a country with a history at least as bleak as Britain’s with regard to institutional racism, anyone who thinks the French authorities will operate this law even handedly is being unreasonably optimistic.
Asymmetric criminalization is the sensible description of the proposal being floated by anti sex worker activists under the guise of the Nordic model. The transaction will have one party who is breaking the law, the buyer, and one party who isn’t, the service provider. The service provider has no interest in reporting the buyer to police, so, for the offence to be evidenced, the police have to either criminalize the attempt, and entrap buyers, or to use intrusive surveillance to detect the criminal acts.
When you say it as baldly as that it appears an even worse idea than at first glance. For police to use intrusive surveillance, to observe the payment being made, they will need to know who to target. That means that, even thought they are not committing a criminal offence, sex workers will have to be on police intelligence databases. How will those databases be compiled?
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