Associations representing prostitutes in France have demanded President Emmanuel Macron’s government hand out cash bailouts for sex workers due to the impact of the Wuhan coronavirus.
The Red Umbrella Federation, an association that works closely with prostitutes and sex workers, called on President Macron to consider financially aiding sex workers, saying: “An emergency fund must be created to provide a replacement income during confinement.”
The group added that a government bailout would be the “only solution to prevent the risk-taking associated with performing sex work”, and added that the issue was “a matter of public health”, Le Figaro reports.
Unlike other professions, prostitutes and sex workers are not eligible for the €1,500 of state aid offered to self-employed individuals.
“In the short term, some of the poorest sex workers will find themselves forced to defy confinement, not with a gaiety of heart, but as a lack of means of subsistence because it is a question of survival,” the Red Umbrella Foundation said.
French Police Attacked in Multiple Cities Despite Lockdown Measures https://t.co/G9IVL99li0
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In 2016, France passed prostitution laws that ended fines and jail time for prostitutes soliciting for sex, but enacted penalties of up to €1,500 for clients paying for sex with repeated violations seeing fines of up to €3,750.
While many prostitutes struggle due to the lockdown, drug dealers and other organised criminals have taken advantage of the strict measures by switching to other schemes such as fraud and selling counterfeit medical supplies, according to the European Union police agency Europol.
Criminality in some areas has continued in France despite the lockdown, including attacks on police officers in some of the country’s more “vulnerable” suburbs.
Over the last weekend alone, police were attacked in various cities and communes across the country with an incident in Bordeaux seeing a refrigerator thrown at officers from the balcony of an apartment building.