• DISCussion on Strategies to Address
    Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

    March 13, 2017

    6:30 pm

  • French Officials, Sex Trade Survivor and Anti-Trafficking Experts
    Discuss Groundbreaking 2016 Prostitution Law


    Laurence Rossignol, the French Minister of Families, Childhood and Women’s Rights; Yves Charpenel, deputy state prosecutor of the Supreme Court of France and president of the Scelles Foundation; Rachel Moran, founder and executive director of SPACE International and author of the bestseller “Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution”; and Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). Mary Snow, former CNN and Al Jazeera correspondent, will moderate.


    Strategies to Address Prostitution and Sex Trafficking,” a discussion on the 2016 French prostitution law and global strategies to combat trafficking and sexual exploitation. A reception will follow the program.


    Monday, March 13, 2017, 6:30-9 p.m.


    In April 2016, the French Assembly passed a historic human rights law to combat what it calls the «prostitutional system.» The law fully decriminalizes individuals bought and sold in the sex trade, while penalizing buyers of sex, or the “demand.” The latter is widely recognized as the driving force that sustains prostitution and fuels sex trafficking. Also vital, the law mandates funding of comprehensive services for prostituted people and offers exit strategies for those who seek to leave the sex trade. France’s law mirrors what is known as the Swedish or Nordic Model, a human rights-based legal framework that holds sex buyers accountable while exempting prostituted individuals, who are overwhelmingly women, from criminal sanctions. Beginning in 1999 with Sweden, countries are increasingly recognizing prostitution as a cause and consequence of genderbased violence, discrimination and inequality. Most recently, on Feb. 14, the Republic of Ireland followed in the footsteps of seven countries worldwide that have enacted demand-focused legislation. These laws are also critical tools to tackle extensive systems of transnational organized crime and address the links between corruption and the sex trade, which are a threat to democracy, transparent economies and peace.
    “Strategies to Address Prostitution and Sex Trafficking” is bringing together French government officials, a survivor leader and anti-trafficking experts to discuss this cutting-edge legislative response in the fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation. An Emmy award-winning journalist will moderate the panel

  • partnerships

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    The Scelles Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization based in Paris, France, dedicated to fight the system of prostitution and the exploitation of prostituted persons, through information, analysis, advocacy, awareness initiatives and legal actions. The Scelles Foundation is a member and founder of the Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution (CAP International launched in 2013) of 18 abolitionist frontline NGOs in 14 countries.

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    The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is one of the oldest international non-governmental organizations dedicated to ending human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls worldwide. It is a leading abolitionist organization focused on advocacy and awareness-raising campaigns designed to address the cultural, political, social and legal conditions that allow human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation to occur.

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    SPACE International - Survivors of Prostitution Abuse Calling for Enlightenment - is an international group formed to give voice to women with experience of the global sex trade. SPACE, first formed in Dublin, Ireland, now represents women from 7 nations: Germany, Denmark, France, Canada, Ireland, the US and UK.

    « We recognize, through the lived experience of our own lives, the damaging and harmful nature of all systems of prostitution, and we work to raise awareness of that harm, and to clarify for human rights activists, policy makers and the general public why prostitution must be brought to an end. Many SPACE members have current and past experience also of front-line service provision, and are uniquely placed to speak to the challenges faced by women and girls in prostitution right now. »

  • sponsors

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    CAP International

    The Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution (CAP international) was launched on October 1, 2013. We are a unique coalition of 18 abolitionist frontline NGOs in 14 countries (Europe, North America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia). CAP international and its members stand in support of all women, men and children affected by prostitution, and in opposition to the system of prostitution that exploits their precariousness and vulnerabilities.


    The fundamental objective of CAP international is to contribute to the adoption and implementation of abolitionist policies and legislation at the domestic, continental and international level.

  • Speakers

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    Mary Snow

    Former CNN (“The Situation Room”) and Al Jazeera correspondent.


    Mary Snow is a broadcast journalist who served as a correspondent for CNN's "The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer" reporting on a wide range of stories from presidential politics to natural disasters. She first started at CNN as a business reporter covering the economy and markets. Mary was also a New York based business correspondent for Al Jazeera America and Yahoo Finance. Other roles have included producing for Bloomberg Television and WPIX-TV in New York where she won two Emmy awards. She is a graduate of Fordham University and is currently teaching broadcast journalism at LIU Post.



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    Laurence Rossignol

    French Minister of Families, Childhood, and Women’s Rights


    Laurence Rossignol has been Minister of Families, Childhood and Women’s Rights since February 2016. She was the Secretary of State for Families, Children, Senior Citizens and Autonomy to the Minister of Health, Social Affairs and Women’s Rights from April 2015 to February 2016.
    Prior to her roles in government, she was Senator of Oise from 2011 to 2014. In 2008, she worked for the Socialist Party and was its spokesperson from 2013 to 2014. She was the National Secretary for the Environment and Sustainable Development from 2008 to 2012.
    Laurence Rossignol was Technical Advisor to Frédéric Bredin, then Minister of Youth and Sports, from 1991 to 1993, and Head of Cabinet to Laurent Fabius when he was President of the National Assembly in 1989.





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    Rachel Moran

    Founder and Director of
    SPACE International.


    Rachel Moran is a women’s rights activist, international speaker, journalist and author of the bestselling ‘Paid For - My Journey Through Prostitution.’ She is the founding member of SPACE International (Survivors of Prostitution Abuse Calling for Enlightenment.) She has spoken many times at locations such as Harvard, Columbia University, the Irish Parliament, the British Parliament, the European Parliament and the United Nations in New York. Her journalism has featured in the New York Times, New Statesman, Irish Times, Truthdig and numerous other publications. Her memoir - a work of feminist analysis of the sex trade - is endorsed by human rights activists President Jimmy Carter and Jane Fonda and by feminist activists Gloria Steinem, Catharine MacKinnon and Robin Morgan; also by organisations Historians Against Slavery, Equality Now, Breaking Free, the National Organisation for Women and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. She works in collaboration with organisations across the world towards the goal of confronting and collapsing the global sex trade. Her most recent cause for celebration was the Sexual Offences Bill in the Republic of Ireland, which criminalises the demand for paid sex, and was passed into Irish law on the 14th of February, 2017.





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    Taina Bien-Aimé

    Executive Director of the Coalition against Trafficking in Women (CATW).


    Taina Bien-Aimé has over two decades of experience defending the rights of women and girls at the national and global level. She is currently the Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), one of the oldest international organizations dedicated to ending trafficking in women and girls and commercial sexual exploitation as practices of gender-based violence. Prior to this position, Taina was the Executive Director of Women’s City Club of New York, an advocacy organization that helps shape policy in New York. She is also a founding Board member of and later served as the Executive Director of Equality Now (2000-2011), an international human rights organization that works to promote the human rights of women and girls. She was Director of Business Affairs/Film Acquisitions at Home Box Office (1996-2000) and practiced international corporate law at the Wall St. law firm, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (1992-1996). Taina holds a Juris Doctor from NYU School of Law and a Licence in Political Science from the University of Geneva/Graduate School of International Studies (Hautes Etudes Internationales) in Switzerland. Taina has received a number of awards for her work, including the NYU Law Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Service in the Public Interest. Taina has extensive media experience, including with the New York Times, Associated Press, Agence France Presse, Reuters, CNN, the Amanpour Show and many other print and television outlets. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post and sits on the Boards of the New York Women’s Foundation and the New York City’s Mayoral Commission on Gender Equity.





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    Yves Charpenel

    Deputy State Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of France and President of the Scelles Foundation.


    Yves Charpenel is Deputy State Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of France (since 2005) and President of the Scelles Foundation (since 2010), which is an NGO that fights against the system of sexual exploitation and is the largest global research center on sex trafficking and prostitution.
    Yves Charpenel is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities, French National Consultative Ethics Committee, Law and Democracy Organization and French Institute for Restorative Justice. In addition, he is the President of the Ethics Commission for the City of Paris and an expert to the European Union and United Nations on organized crime, human trafficking and money laundering. He has authored several books on criminal law and human trafficking, and is regularly called upon to panel for the International Congress. He also provides training to magistrates and journalists on issues related to ethics, organized crime, serial crimes and miscarriages of justice.
    Yves Charpenel served as a Prosecutor at the High Court of the Republic from 2009 to 2012. Before then, he was Head of the Strategic Criminal Affairs and Pardon Department of the Ministry of Justice (1998-2001). He has over two decades of experience as a judge and prosecutor in different courts of justice in France and as a magistrate to the French Ministry of Justice (1976-1991, 1993-1998, 2001-2005). He was appointed to the cabinet of two Ministers of Justice between 1991-1993.



  • key facts and figures

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  • the alarming situation - Violation of Fundamental Principles

    An international organized crime

    • All countries suffer from systemic sexual exploitation. Prostitution and sex trafficking are criminal activities, that affect every continent and economic structure and impact governments and citizens.
    • Based on an illegal trade of human beings, prostitution and sex trafficking are under the control of an extensive system of transnational organized crime, driven by ever-greater profits at the expense of dignity and security of exploited people.
    • This organized crime undermines the rule of law and threatens transparent economies, peace and democracy through the dangerous links between exploitation and profits, and between corruption and the sex trade, so that the decision-making power belongs, to a great extent, to criminal organizations.
    • Trafficking and prostitution are driven by conflicts and terrorist groups engage in both in territories in which they operate to develop economically and ideologically.

    A violence

    • The repetition of sexual acts without physical desire, but instead experienced as the consequence of financial need, inequality or as an exploitation of vulnerability, constitutes sexual violence in and of itself.
    • Sex trade is the most violent forms of gender-based violence and discrimination. The vast majority of prostituted persons are victims of many forms of violence while in prostitution - physical, verbal, sexual, psychological.
    • A large majority of prostituted persons have suffered from violence, often sexual, before entering prostitution.

    A violation of human dignity

    • Prostitution is a direct violation of the physical and moral integrity of prostituted persons.
    • By placing the human body and sex into the realm of the marketplace, the system of prostitution reinforces the objectification of all women and their bodies.
    • Prostitution strengthens the unequal power dynamic present in other forms of violence against women such as rape, sexual harassment and intimate-partner violence.
    • The system of prostitution fuels and perpetuates trafficking in human beings for sexual exploitation.
    • Prostitution is a societal obstacle to establishing truly free, respectful and egalitarian sexuality

    An exploitation of inequality

    • Prostitution is a part of a long patriarchal tradition of making women’s bodies available for men’s benefit (rape, sexual harassment, ‘conjugal duties’, etc.). Victims of prostitution are overwhelmingly women and girls enduring one of the most brutal forms of male perpetrated sexual abuse and violence.
    • Prostitution exploits multiple forms of inequality: men’s domination over women, adults over children, rich over poor, North over South, majority groups over minorities.
    • Minorities, migrants and other marginalized and discriminated groups are overrepresented in prostitution all over the world.

    A market of human beings

    • The commercial sexual exploitation is a booming industry which brings billions of dollars.
    • This worst outcome of liberalism organize the commodification of the most vulnerable people whom bodies are just another commodity to sale. Millions of people are being treated as common goods.
    • This multi-billion illegal market is naturally subject to the basic rules of suplly and demand. Those who sell victims and those who purchase them play equal role in creating a marketplace that survives on people exploitation.
    • To fight the business model of prostitution, exploitation networks should be detered from investing in territories whose legislation is unfavourable towards the profits of crime and condemns both traffickers and buyers.

    A violation of human rights

    • The United Nations Convention of 2 December 1949 adopted by the General Assembly states in its preamble that “Prostitution and the accompanying evil of the traffic in persons for the purpose of prostitution are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person”.
    • The 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) asks States Parties to “take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women”.
    • Prostitution is incompatible with articles 3 and 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which state that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” and that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
  • The effective response

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    Demand-Focused Legislation

    underlying principle

    If there was no demand, there would be no ‘supply’

  • french prostitution law 2016

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  • contact us

    14 rue Mondétour, 75001 Paris
    +33 1 40 26 04 45