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Prostitution

People convicted of paying for sex in Oregon would have their drivers' licenses suspended for six months under a bill being considered by state lawmakers. The suspension would be added to existing penalties for the crime.

Opponents testified to the Oregon House Judiciary Committee Tuesday that the bill would not serve as a deterrent since the crime is not related to driving.

The online classified website Backpage.com said it has suspended its adult ad pages, citing government pressure about the content being shared there.

A 2016 Senate report called the website the "largest commercial sex services advertising platform in the United States" and said that "Backpage officials have publicly acknowledged that criminals use the website for sex trafficking, including trafficking of minors."

A new law in France makes it a crime to pay for sex.

Under the law, passed Wednesday, "customers will face fines and be made to attend awareness classes on the harms of the sex trade," The Associated Press reports. Clients will be fined about $1,700 for the first offense — and that increases to more than $4,250 on the second.

France's sex workers union strongly opposes the legislation, saying it puts them at greater risk. The new law, which has been billed as a comprehensive approach to reducing sex work, has received a mixed response from rights groups.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Law enforcement authorities in King County have announced a major change in how they go after prostitution. They said they plan to stop targeting prostituted women, and train their sites instead on the men paying for sex.

Police and advocates say prostituted women have long been targeted for arrest – 10 times more often than the buyers, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Arizona State University/Shared Hope International

Men who are convicted of paying for sex with minors are unlikely to serve much time behind bars, says the finding of new research conducted by Arizona State University and released by Shared Hope International, an organization trying to stop sex trafficking.

The study examined 134 cases in Seattle, Phoenix, Portland and Baltimore-Washington, D.C.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

Seattle’s underground sex economy more than doubled between 2003 and 2007, when the industry shrunk in other U.S. cities, according to a study by the Urban Institute released Wednesday.

The in-depth study on the economics of the underground commercial sex trade focused on eight U.S. cities, including Seattle, through national data sets and interviews with hundreds of sex workers and law enforcement officials.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that target Johns who solicit prostitutes. Proposals to increase state fines for prostitution and human trafficking had a hearing Tuesday in Olympia.

Supporters say some Washington speeding tickets cost more than the current fine for buying sex.