Europe

French lawmakers vote on punishing prostitutes' clients

Sex workers hold signs during a protest against new bill against prostitution and sex trafficking, in Paris, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. France's lower house of parliament holds a final vote on Wednesday on a bill against prostitution and sex trafficking that bans buying sex, not selling it. Customers would face fines and be required to attend classes on the harms of prostitution. Opponents fear that cracking down will push prostitutes to hide and they would be even more at the mercy of pimps and violent clients. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Sex workers hold signs during a protest against new bill against prostitution and sex trafficking, in Paris, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. France's lower house of parliament holds a final vote on Wednesday on a bill against prostitution and sex trafficking that bans buying sex, not selling it. Customers would face fines and be required to attend classes on the harms of prostitution. Opponents fear that cracking down will push prostitutes to hide and they would be even more at the mercy of pimps and violent clients. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)  (The Associated Press)

France's lower house of parliament holds a final vote on a bill against prostitution and sex trafficking that would punish the customer with a fine and classes.

The bill is likely to be adopted Wednesday since the National Assembly, which has the final say, is in favor of the proposal.

Prostitution is currently legal in France, but a 2003 law bans soliciting on the streets. Brothels, pimping and the sale of sex by minors is also illegal.

The measure would introduce a 1,500-euro ($1,700) fine, rising to 3,750-euro ($ 4,270) for a second offense. The convicted client would also be forced to attend classes highlighting the harms of prostitution.

If adopted, the bill would make French law one of the toughest against sex buyers in Europe.