Why Prostitution Should Be Legal in Canada

These cross-appeals and cross-appeals are not about whether prostitution should be legal or not. The question was whether the laws passed by Parliament on how prostitution could be practised were constitutional. I conclude that this is not the case. I am therefore in favour of issuing a declaration of suspended invalidity and referring the issue of prostitution back to Parliament. [18] Such a measure would likely encounter resistance from prohibitionist feminist organizations opposed to prostitution, which they see as a form of exploitation of women and male domination (see Feminist Views on Prostitution). They point out that in Sweden, Norway[68] and Iceland[69] it is illegal to pay for sex (the client commits a crime, but not the prostitute) and argue that countries strongly committed to gender equality do not tolerate prostitution. On the other hand, other feminists and women`s groups see laws banning sex work as suppressing women`s work and advocate for its repeal as a fundamental human rights issue. [7] [70] In addition to the concerns expressed above, Bale justified the pressing and substantial concerns addressed by Parliament under CEPPA, namely that the majority of those who sell their own sexual services are women and girls. Marginalized groups such as Indigenous women and girls are disproportionately represented in prostitution.

Moreover, the decision to enter prostitution is often more obvious than real; It is often motivated by poverty, child sexual abuse and drug abuse. The Nordic model offers an asymmetric solution to sex work – while it is illegal to buy, less harm is done to sex workers due to a lack of clients. In Canada, Bill C-36 criminalizes the purchase of sexual services, while decriminalizing the sale of sexual services. The penal code identifies the operation of blinded homes as a criminal offense that prohibits sex workers from working indoors. It also makes advertising sexual services a criminal offence, as does procurement and communication. The bill also describes the various crimes associated with human trafficking. [24] Overall, the model aims to abolish prostitution by targeting demand. [27] Whether the objectives of Canada`s current prostitution laws can be achieved depends to a large extent on three factors: enforcement, funding, and community and educational engagement. The Penal Code was amended in 1988 to include sexual abuse of children and to link juvenile prostitution to the section “Procuring”.

In 1995, the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Prostitution stated that these provisions were “ineffective in bringing to justice clients and pimps of youth who engage in prostitution.” They indicated that charges under these provisions were rare and that young prostitutes and their clients continued to be charged under the general summary conviction that prohibits street prostitution, as in the case of adults. Law enforcement problems are due to the reluctance of young people to testify against pimps and the difficulty of arresting clients. Women (and men) like Muñoz are not girls in need or criminals. If they decide to sell sexual services, the government should not treat them as immoral or victims, nor should they prosecute their clients. One study showed that 26% of sex workers in Vancouver were infected with HIV and that the overall HIV prevalence in Vancouver was about 1.21%, six times higher than the national rate. Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical officer of health at Vancouver Coastal Health, was quoted as saying, “Our message has always been that you should assume sex workers are HIV positive.” This remark was criticized as offensive and inaccurate. Subsequent correspondence showed that this figure was misleading. The data actually represented injection drug users visiting health services. With more health problems in middle-aged groups,[56] Canadian sex workers resist the criminalization of their clients. A coalition of sex workers went to Ontario Superior Court last week to argue against Canada`s ban on paying for sexual services.

The groups are also challenging a series of anti-prostitution laws passed in 2014 known as the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (CEPA). Prostitution reinforces gender inequalities by normalizing the treatment of women`s bodies, primarily as commodities that can be bought and sold. The purchase of sexual services creates the demand for prostitution and third parties promote and use this demand to their own advantage. Activities related to sex work that are prohibited by law include the exploitation of a place (sexual service establishment or brothel) where such activities take place, meeting in such an establishment, procuring for these purposes and organizing such services (advertising) in a public place, which makes prostitution difficult without breaking any law. Automobiles are considered public spaces if they can be seen. On the other hand, working as a self-employed sex worker and private communication for such purposes (telephone, Internet, e-mail, etc.) are legal. This ambivalence can be confusing,[13][14] leading one judge to call the laws “Alice in Wonderland”[15] and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to describe the situation as “bizarre”: those who suggest that the goal of Canada`s prostitution laws is to make sex work safer often cite the Supreme Court`s decision in Bedford. “Prostitution” is not defined in Canadian law, but is based on case law, which considers three elements necessary to determine prostitution: (i) the provision of sexual services, (ii) the indiscriminate nature of the act (soliciting rather than selecting clients), and (iii) the need for some form of payment. [13] As in other countries, debates about trafficking for sexual exploitation often dominate the broader debate about prostitution. These debates tend to be highly emotional and controversial, as evidenced by the 2013 Supreme Court decision on the unconstitutionality of Canada`s prostitution laws. One psychotherapist explained: “I find it disturbing, disappointing, because it removes the only limitation for men who troll for women,” he said. It is already an extremely dangerous work environment for women.

I now know that police will not patrol or perform knife surgeries, so it`s essentially open season,” while Karen Mykietka, president of the Alberta Avenue Community League, told the media: The PCEPA was designed to eradicate prostitution while protecting sex workers from criminal charges, But all it does is ignore prostitution as a legitimate source of income and increase the risk of violence. Rape and transmission of STIs for sex workers. In July 2000, however, the law was declared unconstitutional. The provincial court found that it did not respect a child`s legal rights because it lacked the “procedural safeguards” to give minors the right to respond to allegations or appeal to the courts. But in December, the Court of Queen`s Bench overturned that decision. Nevertheless, the government had already introduced changes to ensure that a child was informed in writing at the time of placement of the reasons for placement, duration, hearing dates and the right to legal representation. The child also has the possibility to apply for legal aid and to apply for judicial review of the placement. In June 1999, provincial and territorial politicians declared child prostitution violence not a crime and agreed to harmonize child welfare laws.

Several provinces and municipalities have appointed working groups to implement the concept of child victimization. Alberta led the way, followed by British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario (June 2002). [13] However, in Bedford, the Supreme Court made it clear that nothing prevents Parliament from imposing restrictions on where and how prostitution can be practised in Canada. Parliament should ensure that the laws it passed to implement did not increase the risks to prostitutes in a way that was too broad or manifestly disproportionate to the objectives of the new law. Media reports say Vancouver has about 500 street prostitutes under the age of 17, while some have claimed that many more children could be involved in prostitution indoors. [59] However, these figures should be treated with extreme caution (see above). The legalization of prostitution frees sex workers and their clients to practice the world`s oldest profession without vastly ineffective legal harassment, and frees law enforcement to enforce applicable laws. In December 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada declared unconstitutional three Criminal Code offences applicable at the time to adult prostitution. In contrast, many organized and sex worker-led groups across the country continue to advocate for the complete decriminalization of sex work in Canada, arguing that the illegality of purchasing sex services harms sex workers. These organizations have often been at the forefront of challenging laws criminalizing aspects of sex work.

Sex worker-led organizations advocating for decriminalization include Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC), led by Valerie Scott and Amy Lebovith; Pace, Vancouver; peers (Victoria); Maggie`s (Toronto); Stella, Montreal. [ref. needed] In the face of repression, sex workers have organized to fight for their rights, mainly since the 80s. The HIV/AIDS epidemic opened the door to harm reduction programs that helped fund the unionization of sex workers, shifting the conversation from a purely moralized perspective. [96] Many authors and organizations argue that sex is here to stay and cannot be extinguished. [97] [98] [96] Therefore, they propose to decriminalize sex work and create a legal system that supports the health and safety of sex workers. [98] [96] Finally, meaningful implementation of CEPA also requires education to change societal attitudes toward recognizing prostitution as incompatible with equality and human dignity.