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France Adopts the Nordic Model!



On Wednesday, April 6th, French MPs passed a law making it illegal to pay for sex. Offenders in France will now face fines and be made to attend classes to learn about the realities of prostitution, much like Breaking Free’s Offenders Prostitution Program or “John School.” The legislation will also abolish a 2003 law that banned passive soliciting on the street, making it illegal for women to loiter in public places while wearing revealing clothing. (There are already laws in France prohibiting pimping/trafficking, brothels, and buying sex from a minor.) Finally, the law will make it easier for foreign women in prostitution to acquire temporary residence permits, enabling them to access services that empower them to get out of “the Life.” This combined set of policies—which work together to decriminalize prostitution while upholding repercussions for offenders who pay for sex or sell other people—makes France the next country to adopt the Nordic Model.

The Nordic Model—first adopted by Sweden but more recently popping up in Canada and Northern Ireland—is believed by advocates to be the best possible legislation to eradicate prostitution and sex trafficking. The model is designed to ensure that women seeking to leave “the Life” receive services rather than criminal charges that may negatively impact their ability to reintegrate. It is also meant to address the demand through punitive education.

Breaking Free would like to congratulate the activists and parliamentarians who have worked tirelessly to advocate for the adoption of the Nordic Model in France! This is a tremendous step in the direction of recognizing prostitution and sex trafficking as violence against women, and we hope that French progress will only help other countries (like the United States!) to pursue similar measures.

What's New

Watch Vednita Cater's TED talk below!

Vednita Carter, Founder and President of Breaking Free, shares a powerful message in this TED talk presented at TEDxMinneapolis in July 2015. Carter begins by telling her own story of survival as a high school graduate trafficked in a strip club in Minneapolis. She explains how she got out of the Life and went on to found Breaking Free in October 1996 as a place for women to find safety and refuge. "No woman, no girl, no one deserves to be bought and sold," she declares in her talk. "This is no one's destiny-no one's." 

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Breaking Free was established in October 1996, by Vednita Carter, Founder and President, as a non-profit organization serving women involved in systems of abuse, exploitation, and prostitution/sex trafficking.Phone: 651-645-6557
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