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March 18, 2006 09:22am
French Hookers March in Street
Source: AFP

(PARIS, FRANCE) -- Dozens of prostitutes took to the streets of Paris Saturday not to ply their trade but to defend it in a demonstration of "hooker pride" and calls for recognizing their human rights.

The French hookers are asking for the repeal of a 2003 law which makes soliciting subject to a fine of 3,750 euros (4,600 dollars) and two months in prison, as well as revoking the residency card of any foreigner.

The prostitutes like Karima, who has sold "sexual services" for 18 years, refer to it as "Sarkozy's law" after the French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

"Sarkozy's law has put the girls in danger," said the 36-year-old transsexual.

A 33-year-old Brazilian woman expressed the same view, claiming she could no longer work in the Parisian park, Bois du Boulogne, because "It's too dangerous" since "Sarkozy's law makes us more vulnerable... In the hands of the client." "We are workers like anyone else," she added.

The prostitute protest drew about 100 marchers, according to police, while organizers put the turnout at several hundred.

The hookers marched from Place Pigalle to Rue Saint-Denis shouting slogans: "You sleep with us, you vote against us" and "Not guilty, not victims, proud to be prostitutes".

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