The French parliament has passed into law a bill that criminalized paying for sex.
The bill, which debate started in 2013, and was delayed due to several hearings following sharp divisions between the lower parliamentary chamber, and the senate was passed into law by 64 votes to 12 with many MPs absent.
Under the new law, anyone caught purchasing an act from a sex worker will be fined and required to attend classes on the harms of prostitution.
According to reports, there would be a €1,500 (£1,200) fine for a first offence, rising to €3,750 for a second, which would also be put on the person’s criminal record. The offender would be forced to attend classes highlighting the harms of prostitution.
With this law, France has joined a handful of European countries to follow the Nordic model of criminalising consumers rather than sex workers. These include Norway and Iceland.
Northern Ireland last year became the only part of the UK where people can be convicted of paying for sex.