French lower house votes to fine prostitutes' clients

PARIS, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- France's National Assembly, on Wednesday endorsed a law criminalizing the clients of prostitutes in a bid to curb human trafficking and protect women's rights.

The lower house of parliament voted 268 to 138 the new legislation that would impose a fine of 1,500 euros (2,035 U.S. dollars) for men paying for sex.

Offenders that insist in violating the ban risk paying a fine of 3,750 euros. A course will be proposed to make them aware of the risks involved in the sale of sex.

The Senate will examine the bill in early 2014.

According to local reports, France prostitutes numbered between 20,000 and 40,000 with the large slice of them are foreign victims of human trafficking networks.