Speech by Yves Charpenel on Violence & torture against women & girls in trafficking & prostitution: Educating service providers


Dear friends,

I’m here to give you some encouraging information in the fight in my country against the serious violence suffered by the victims of the prosperous system of sexual exploitation.

you know that France adopted in April 2016 a law that makes people involved in the sexual trafficking system victims in their own right.

Two years after its adoption the law begins to produce promising effects around four objectives

the first concerns the situation of victims through a system that facilitates protection , access to social housing and reintegration actions, provided they have left prostitution

the second reinforces the severity of punishment against the exploiters whose penalty is aggravated in case of tortures or serious violence, regarding nearly 500 offenders condemned per year

the third is to penalize the buyers of sexual services that thus create the demand and maintain the violence suffered by thousands of victims of which 95% women

several thousand clients, men exclusively, were thus arrested and had to choose between a fine or an internship inspired by those planned for domestic violence

the fourth aims to sensitize public actors as well as NGOs and public opinion to the intrinsic violence generated by sexual exploitation



in this context I want to share with you three good news:


By making the choice to penalize the sex-buyers, the legislator intended to ensure the safeguarding of the dignity of the human person against these forms of enslavement and pursued the objective of constitutional value of safeguarding public order and crime prevention.

the way is thus clearer for the effective recognition, by all the actors in our societies, of the reality of this violence, always excessive and sometimes extreme, inflicted on the most vulnerable

the SCELLES Foundation, which has played its part in the progress just mentioned, calls on all organizations represented here not to release their vigilance and their efforts in this struggle, which is essential to a true gender equality.


Yves Charpenel, President of the Fondation Scelles, First Honorary state prosecutor of the Supreme Court in France


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