Syndicat du travail sexuel

The Syndicat du travail sexuel (STRASS) (Union of sexual work) is an association in France that defends the rights of sex workers, mainly prostitutes but also pornographic actors and phone sex operators.[2] The association was formed on 20 March 2009[3] during the assises de la prostitution, held at the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, Paris.[4] It is operated as a self-managed syndicate.[3]

Syndicat du travail sexuel
Formation20 March 2009 (2009-03-20)
Founded atEuropean conference on prostitution, Paris
Legal statusSyndicate
PurposeDefending the collective, professional and moral interests of sex workers.
Fighting for the recognition of sex work.
Headquarters39 bis Boulevard Barbès, Paris
  • France
General secretary
Mylène Juste
International relations
Thierry Schaffauser
AffiliationsInternational Committee for the Rights of Sex Workers in Europe
Global Network of Sex Work Projects
Membership fees


The syndicate's initial main priority, according to Malika Amaouche, member of the collective Droits et prostitution and coordinator of the assises de la prostitution in 2009, was the repeal of the law on internal security (2003), which prohibited passive soliciting.[5]

It also aims to fight against discrimination and marginalisation faced by sex workers by claiming professional status to ensure their social protection and benefits.[2]

The syndicate also seeks to allow sex workers to speak in the public debate about their professional activity, according to its treasurer Mistress Nikita.[3]

Client criminalisation

STRASS took a stand against the draft law criminalising clients of prostitutes,[6] and organised a demonstration on 4 December 2013, which about 200 prostitutes attended.[7] The general secretary since June 2011, Morgane Merteuil had written in advance: "We are pro-sex, pro-porn, pro-whores, and for the freedom to wear the veil",[8] while deeming the draft law abject, anti-feminist and the "Manifesto of the 343 bastards".[9]

On 5 June 2017,[10] a priority issue of constitutionality (QPC) was filed by STRASS and eight other associations (including Médecins du Monde) and five sex workers, against the law aimed at penalising clients of prostitution. According to their lawyer Patrice Spinosi  : "Our objective is to show that the law that was supposed to protect prostitutes more effectively did not fulfil its objectives, on the contrary, it is counterproductive".[11] The case was initially heard by the Constitutional Council, who transferred the proceeding to the Conseil d'État in November 2018.[12] However, the Conseil d'État validated the law as being constitutional on 1 February 2019.[13]


In 2017, STRASS announces the setting up of a mutual for prostitutes in partnership with the Mutuelle de Prévoyance interprofessionnelle. The latter stated: "we who advocate the values of the fight against exclusion and rejection of discrimination, are delighted".[14]


  1. "La ministre se heurte aux défenseurs de la prostitution". Le Matin (in French). 19 July 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  2. ""STRASS", premier syndicat du travail sexuel!". (in French). La Dépêche. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  3. "Les prostitués fondent leur syndicat et défilent pour la "Pute pride"". L'Obs (in French). 22 March 2009.
  4. Camille Camille (26 March 2009). "Avec le Strass, le travail du sexe a désormais son syndicat". L'Obs (in French). Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  5. Dreillard, Audrey (23 March 2009). "Prostitution - Un syndicat pour les travailleurs du sexe". France-Soir (in French). Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  6. "Prostitution : faut-il pénaliser les clients ?". Le Drenche (in French). 3 June 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  7. "Vidéo. Les prostituées manifestent contre la loi". Le (in French). 5 December 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  8. Morgane Merteuil (2012). "Libérez le féminisme!". L'Éditeur.
  9. Morgan-Merteuil (30 October 2013). "Manifeste des 343 salauds: "Nous ne sommes pas vos putes"". (in French). Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  10. "Lecture du lundi 12 novembre 2018". (in French). Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  11. Samson, Thomas (6 September 2018). "Des associations et des travailleuses du sexe déposent une QPC contre la loi prostitution". Europe 1. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  12. "Le Conseil constitutionnel saisi de la loi prostitution". Le Point (in French). 12 November 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  13. "Prostitution : " Le pénalisation des clients précarise les prostitué(e)s "". Le Point (in French). 5 September 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  14. "Les travailleurs du sexe vont pouvoir bénéficier d'une mutuelle". FIGARO (in French). 16 June 2017. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
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