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The topic of piostitution is making heaulines in Canaua touay. Two constitutional challenges aie making theii way
thiough the couits in 0ntaiio anu in Biitish Columbia. The mattei fiom Biitish Columbia is cuiiently befoie the
Supieme Couit of Canaua on a legal issue of stanuing, to be
iesolveu in 2u12. The 0ntaiio Couit of Appeal has alieauy heaiu
the 0ntaiio case anu that uecision is penuing. veiy soon this
mattei will have to be iesolveu. The question is whethei it will be
the Supieme Couit of Canaua oi oui electeu lawmakeis who will
ueteimine what the law will be.
In both couit challenges, the appellants aie seeking to ueciiminalize piostitution by ueciiminalizing bawuy houses,
peimitting inuiviuuals to live off the avails of piostitution anu allowing communication foi the puichase of sexual
seivices. Cuiiently these piactices aie illegal in Canaua, as pei the Ciiminal Coue, sections 21u to 21S. It shoulu be
noteu that the actual exchange of money foi sexual seivices is not itself illegal.
A iecent Angus Reiu suivey inuicates that most Canauians believe the
status quo is unacceptable.
1
The Canauian mouel is not woiking.
2

Canauians expect leaueiship fiom theii electeu iepiesentatives on this
issue. Theie is much misunueistanuing anu ignoiance suiiounuing
piostitution. Anu theie is much at stake. As Pailiamentaiians, you have
an oppoitunity to be pioactive on this issue, insteau of sciambling in
ieaction to a Supieme Couit uecision. 0utlineu below aie some legislative mouels that have been useu
in a numbei of uiffeient countiies anu which aie being pioposeu foi Canaua.
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Prostitution
IN CANADA
SEPTEMBER 2011

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Prostitution IN CANADA PAGE 2
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"Legal piostitution anu ueciiminalizeu piostitution aie both state-sanctioneu piostitution, but theie aie uiffeiences
between them. In legalizeu piostitution, the state assumes the iole of pimp, collecting taxes anu iegulating the
piactice of piostitution. Beciiminalizeu piostitution is a iauical iemoval of any anu all laws iegaiuing piostitution
(incluuing laws against pimping, panueiing, puichasing, anu piocuiing) so that the buying anu selling of people in
piostitution is consiueieu the legal equivalent of buying canuy."
S

4

A numbei of goveinments have attempteu legalization anu
iegulation of piostitution, incluuing the Netheilanus, the state
of Nevaua, anu victoiia, Austialia. In these uistiicts, even with
all of the iegulation put in place by goveinment, theie is still an
oveiwhelming influence by gangs, anu iampant uiug anu
human tiafficking, sexual exploitation, anu chilu piostitution.
S

The simple ieality is that legalization anu ueciiminalization
benefit the pimps, tiaffickeis anu johns; it noimalizes the
tieatment of the female bouy as a commouity foi men to ient
anu foi "businessmen" to ient out; it uegiaues the community.
Legalizing oi ueciiminalizing piostitution is funuamentally immoial. It is an unacceptable alteinative to the Canauian
status quo.
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The connection between piostitution anu human
tiafficking cannot be oveistateu.
1S
In Westein Euiope, the
tiafficking of women anu giils into the sex tiaue has been
one of the most iapiuly expanuing ciiminal activities of the
past two uecaues.
14
The legalization oi even toleiation of
piostitution has histoiically leu to an incieaseu numbei of
women anu chiluien being tiaffickeu into the commeicial
sex tiaue.
1S
0ne stuuy in the Netheilanus iepoiteu that in
the fiist S yeais of legalizing piostitution, the numbei of
chilu piostitutes in the countiy incieaseu Suu% fiom 4,uuu
to 1S,uuu!
16

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Piostitution is violence against women. Let's not kiu ouiselves - ueciiminalizing piostitution will not cieate an equal
playing fielu foi female entiepieneuis who wish to engage in a legitimate business of sexual seivices. The hoiiific
ieality is that the vast majoiity of piostituteu women aie contiolleu by pimps anu suffei incieuible haim. Piostitution
is intiinsically exploitative. Legalizing oi ueciiminalizing a piactice that is inheiently haimful anu uangeious uoes not
ieuuce the haim, uangei oi exploitation.
17

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Age iange of piostitutes 1S-49
6

Peicentage youngei than age 18 at entiy S4%
7

Peicentage of pimp-contiolleu piostitution 8u%-9S%
8

Noitality iate of giils anu women in piostitution
4ux national
aveiage
9

Numbei of women tiaffickeu into Canaua foi
sexual exploitation
6uu pei
yeai
1u

Sexual exploitation accounts foi peicentage of the
woilu's human tiafficking
79%
11

Reuuction in Sweuish piostitution within S yeais
of abolition
67%
12

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4

Prostitution IN CANADA PAGE S
As Bi. Nelissa Failey states, "If we view piostitution as
violence against women, it makes no sense to legalize
oi ueciiminalize piostitution. The piimaiy violence in
piostitution is not "social stigma" as some maintain.
Beciiminalizing oi legalizing piostitution woulu
noimalize anu iegulate piactices which aie human
iights violations, anu which in any othei context woulu
be legally actionable (sexual haiassment, physical
assault, iape, captivity, economic coeicion) oi
emotionally uamaging (veibal abuse)."
18

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In 1999, Sweuen ieviseu theii piostitution laws, anu intiouuceu a new law wheie "the peison who, foi payment,
obtains a casual sexual ielationship is penalizeu. foi the puichase of sexual seivices with fines oi impiisonment foi a
maximum of six months."
19
Sweuen officially iecognizeu piostitution as a foim of exploitation anu violence against
women anu chiluien anu theiefoie taigeteu those who engageu in exploitation, iathei than those who weie exploiteu.
Sweuen was the fiist countiy to ciiminalize the uemanu while
ueciiminalizing the supply. It's basic economics: taiget the
uemanu, anu the supply will uwinule. With the sex tiaue, as it
was with the slave tiaue in the past, uemanu cieates supply.
Because people want to buy sex, theie will be those who pioviue
it. But if the Ciiminal Law taigets those who want to buy, then uemanu is ieuuceu, anu those pioviuing the supply
(pimps anu tiaffickeis) neeu to go elsewheie.
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The Sweuish mouel views piostitutes as victims of a ciime iathei than
ciiminals. The motivation is to iemove the stigma anu make it easiei foi
piostitutes to leave the tiaue. Although the enu goal is commenuable, it uoes
not justify the geneialization that piostitution 2%& '% uenotes victimhoou. As
those who aie auvancing the cuiient couit challenges exemplify, theie aie
people who choose to entei the sex tiaue, piofit fiom it, anu uo what they can
to auvance it. With that in minu, it is impoitant that legislation that piopeily
ciiminalizes the uemanu foi sex also has a paiallel system in law thiough
which those who wish to escape fiom the sex tiaue aie given the tools anu
suppoit necessaiy to ieintegiate into society.
As can be seen in the chait on the iight, piostituteu women neeu suppoit anu
help. A compassionate Canauian people anu a goveinment that intenus to
taiget ciimes against women anu to help victims of ciime must be ieauy to
give assistance in sheltei, auuiction counseling, job tiaining anu health caie.
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Leave piostitution 9S%
Bome oi safe place 66%
}ob tiaining 67%
Biugalcohol tieatment 82%
Bealth caie 41%
Peei suppoit 41%
Inuiviuual counseling S8%
Self-uefence tiaining 49%
Legal assistance SS%
2u

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Prostitution IN CANADA PAGE 4
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ARPA Canaua uiges oui electeu iepiesentatives to speeuily auvance anu suppoit legislation that seeks to eiauicate
piostitution by auuiessing uemanu anu by aujusting the focus of the laws anu law enfoicement to the piosecution of
those who puichase sexual seivices. We also encouiage you to empowei those oiganizations that alieauy exist to help
piostitutes exit the sex tiaue.
21

The Sweuish mouel gives some helpful uiiection foi how to minimize the uemanu foi piostitution by focusing on
piosecuting those who puichase sex. Not ciiminalizing sex tiaue woikeis, while also clamping uown on human
tiafficking anu kiunapping, iemoves obstacles foi piostitutes who want to leave the tiaue while also taigeting those
who aie foicing them into the tiaue against theii will. Theie is no neeu to go beyonu that by using language that
assumes that all piostitutes aie victims. Piostitution is immoial, anu the law must ieflect that both those who buy anu
sell sexual seivices aie obligeu to stop.
It is ciucial that oui goveinment senus a louu anu cleai signal to Canauian society, anu especially to oui youth, that
piostitution is huitful, uangeious, socially unuesiiable, anu uestiuctive.
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The Association foi Refoimeu Political Action (ARPA) Canaua is a non-paitisan not-foi-piofit oiganization that uses
giassioots suppoit to encouiage oui electeu iepiesentatives in theii uaily woik anu calling anu seeks to assist the
membeis of Refoimeu chuiches in Canaua to engage in the public spheie. 7%'2%.1+/44? D/30(11%- is a biannual lettei in
which we hope to encouiage you, oui electeu iepiesentative, on cuiient policy issues with a goal of keeping Canaua
gloiious anu fiee.
We welcome youi feeuback, questions, anu iequests foi ieseaich on this anu othei policy subjects.

1
"Canauians Beciy Status Quo on Piostitution", by Naiio Canseco 19 }uly 2u11 vancouvei Sun.
2
The Canauian mouel has iesulteu in a "two-tieieu system" which focuses on stieet piostitutes anu ueliveis much haishei sentences to the piostitutes than to the men. See Shelagh Bay,
"Piostitution: violating the Buman Rights of Pooi Women", Action ontaiienne contie la violence faite aux femmes, }une 2uu8. 0nline:
http:www.embiaceuignity.oiguploausPiostitutionAsviolenceAgainstPooiWomen.puf, p. 1S.
S
Nelissa Failey, "Piostitution, Tiafficking, anu Cultuial Amnesia: What We Nust Not Know in 0iuei To Keep the Business of Sexual Exploitation Running Smoothly" in The Yale }ouinal of
Law anu Feminism (vol.18:N 2uu6) at 129.
4
Failey, "Piostitution, Tiafficking, anu Cultuial Amnesia" '/2&" note S at 128.
S
See Failey, Nelissa "Nyths anu Facts about Tiafficking foi Legal anu Illegal Piostitution (Naich 2uu9) available online:
http:www.piostitutionieseaich.compufsNyths%2u&%2uFacts%2uLegal%2u&%2uIllegal%2u Piostitution%2uS-u9.puf
6
"Piostitution anu Tiafficking in Nine Countiies: An 0puate on violence anu Posttiaumatic Stiess Bisoiuei." Failey et al. P)/&*"4 )+ O&"/0" 8&".1(.% (The Bawoith Naltieatment &
Tiauma Piess, an impiint of The Bawoith Piess, Inc.) vol. 2, No. S4, 2uuS, pp.SS-74 at 4u.
7
Q3(-.
8
Kathleen Baiiy, O<% 8&)'1(1/1()* )+ D%9/"4(1?R O<% S4)3"4 T924)(1"1()* )+ U)0%*, }uly 1996, New Yoik, New Yoik 0niveisity Piess.
9
Special Committee on Poinogiaphy anu Piostitution, 198S, Poinogiaphy anu Piostitution in Canaua SSu.
1u
uoveinment of Canaua, Bepaitment of }ustice, V(.1(0' )+ O&"++(.C(*5 (* 8%&')*'R 8%&'2%.1($%' +&)0 1<% @"*"-("* @)00/*(1? D%.1)&, 2, 2uu6, http:www.justice.gc.caengpiisiep-
iap2uu6iiu6_Siiu6_S.puf
11
0N 0ffice on Biugs anu Ciime, S4)3"4 7%2)&1 )* O&"++(.C(*5 (* 8%&')*', Febiuaiy 2uu9, http:www.unouc.oigunoucenhuman-tiaffickingglobal-iepoit-on-tiafficking-in-
peisons.html
12
Be Santis, "Why Basn't Anyone Tiieu This Befoie." Women's }ustice Centei, online: http:www.ayuuapaiamujeies.comcj_sweuen.html
1S
See geneially Nonica 0'Connoi, uiainne Bealy, "The Links Between Piostitution anu Sex Tiafficking: A Biiefing Banubook", Coalition Against Tiafficking in Women (CATW), A Sweuish
anu 0niteu States uoveinmental anu Non-uoveinmental 0iganization Paitneiship, 2uu6.
14
Q3(-EL at p. 2S.
1S
Q3(-EL at p. 29.
16
}anice u. Raymonu, "Ten Reasons foi Not Legalizing Piostitution anu a Legal Response to the Bemanu foi Piostitution" Binghampton: Bawthoin Piess, 2uuS, p. 7.
17
Failey et al. "Piostitution anu Tiafficking in Nine Countiies" '/2&" note 6 at 4S.
18
Nelissa Failey, "Piostitution: Factsheet on Buman Rights violations" 422uuu. Available at http:www.piostitutionieseaich.comfactsheet.html
19
Law on Piohibition of the Puichase of Sexual Seivices, Sweuish Coues of Statutes, piomulgateu 4 }une 1998, enteieu into foice 1 }anuaiy 1999. 0nline:
http:www.bayswan.oigsweusweu_law.html
2u
Table 8 in Failey et al. "Piostitution anu Tiafficking in Nine Countiies" '/2&" note 6 at S1.
21
ARPA Canaua in effect concuis with the iecommenuations of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canaua (the EFC). See theii stellai iepoit in "Selling 0uiselves: Piostitution in Canaua
Wheie aie we Beaueu: A Compaiison of the Sweuish anu the Butch Nouels, anu the Coiielation Between Piostitution anu Buman Tiafficking" (Apiil 2u1u) The Evangelical Fellowship of
Canaua. The EFC's iecommenuations aie outlineu on pp. 2u-2S.