Police in a Struggle to Stop Prostitution Rings in France
According to the news we have read on Sex Work Vienna, there are some serious problems going on with illegal prostitution in France. Despite the police’s efforts to stop prostitution rings, there is always a new brothel popping up in the scene.
Prostitution is illegal there, yet with the current laws in power, prostitution circles seem to have an advantage. It is the South American pimps that are dominating the scene by taking advantage or women from various nationalities.
The Police Raids are Effective, Yet Still Not Enough
In November, there was another huge police raid that targeted illegal brothels. It all started in six o’clock in the morning, when dozens of police officers went to two separate locations. One of them was a pavilion in the Paris suburb of Drancy, while the other is an apartment building area in the suburb of Saint-Ouen.
It was another big step towards cleaning up the whole city of prostitution rings. During that day, the members of two prostitution rings were arrested. This also led to the closing of two illegal brothels. They found 21 prostitutes in the pavilion where they lived and provided services to their clients.
In the suburban residential buildings of Saint-Ouen, there were more than 40 ladies. However, there were several successful raids like this one before. Head of Paris vices and Commissioner Jean-Paul Mégret said in an inteview that the last one was the eleventh prostitution ring thez have set off in 2022. And this applies only to the outer area of Paris.
A Constant Stream of Prostitutes from South America
As Mégret says, the police raids were quite sucessful in the last two years. They managed to triple the number of prostitution rings arrested during that time. Meanwhile, prostitution is banned in France since the end of the Second World War, and it was also criminalized recently in 2016.
Despite that, there is no shortage of illegal brothels popping up in the scene. More than 90% of the prostitution rings follow a mafia-like structure. They are South American pimp organizations that are constantly spreading in France.
They rent out properties and then lure the ladies into working there. These are usually women from Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, or Peru. They are looking to make some quick and easy money. Most of them don’t stay long, leaving the country after two or three months.
South American pimp groups are not only prevalent in France but also in Spain and North America. The French market is an absolute gold mine for them in its current state. It might seem counterintuitive, but the anti-prostitution law is exactly what enables them to spread so fast.
The Current Prostitution Law Largely Benefits the Pimps
Women had to give up street prostitution, which also means that it became harder to find them when they are in trouble. The oldest trade in the World has been banned in France, following the example of Sweden. In the Scandinavian country, the purchase of sex services has been criminalized in 1999.
There, prostitution is not completely prohibited and the women are still subject to income tax. Since then, they managed to catch many customers who had to pay a fine of 1,500 Euros. If they get caught again, they have to pay 3,750 Euros. This way, prostitutes can’t afford to openly provide services to their clients.
This was only one side of the coin. As it turned out, this caused only a small proportion of sex workers to look for other professions. Others have simply switched to rented apartments and online profiles. Since prostitution can no longer take place in public, the pimps can do whatever they want to most of the time.
The law simply plays into their hands. The police have no power over the internet platforms either. The South American women can seamlessly offer their services there. They can do so because although prostitution is decriminalized, it is still legal.
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Read the full blog post on prostitution rings in France on Sex Work Vienna, one of our sources for fresh news regarding the industry.
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