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Ex-prostitute marches on Paris for law to criminalize clients

AFP-JIJI

A former prostitute began an 800-km (500-mile) march across France on Wednesday to demand that the French government make good on its promise to penalize clients.

Rosen Hicher, 57, an activist for the group Survivors of Prostitution, is protesting that a law to fine men who pay for sex up to €1,500 ($1,100) was shelved by a committee of the French Senate in July.

Intellectuals and celebrities had signed a “Manifesto of the 343 Bastards” condemning the bill, and demanding the right to use prostitutes.

But Hicher told reporters as she started her protest march in western France that “allowing clients the right to buy us allows pimps the right to sell us. If you outlaw the buying of people, there will be no more sale of people and no more victims.”

She said she chose to start her march to the capital in the town of Saintes in Charente-Maritime because that was “the last place I sold my body. Paris was the first place I sold myself,” she added.

She said she planned to end her protest at the gates of the Senate.