Prostitution in Canada Essay

Prostitution in Canada Essay

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Canada is a nation renown as a liberal-leaning, forward nation; promoting the advancement of women in all parts of the world. However, it is a nation guilty of punishing women for the circumstances in which they find themselves with laws showing an antiquated view on the issue of prostitution—one that prosecutes sex workers instead of those who take advantage of women’s situations and buy sexual services. BY examining the origins of current-day laws concerning prostitution in Canada and looking at European legislation as well as its successes and failures made it is possible to find a middle ground that will suit Canada should it ever decide to change its laws concerning prostitution.
While prostitution is technically legal, acts surrounding the issue are not—the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits living off the earnings of a prostitute; procuring, or attempting to procure, an individual to “...have illicit sexual intercourse with another person, whether in or out of Canada”; communicating in public, “for the purpose of engaging in prostitution or of obtaining the sexual services of a prostitute.”; or being found in or operating a bawdy house (CCC). All through the past century special-interest groups have influenced laws concerning prostitution for moral, feminist and medical reasons (Brock 1998). In 1972 the Canadian government criminalised solicitation for purposes of prostitution with S.195.1 of the Criminal Code; this move was followed with the institution of Bill C-49 in 1985 which amended the Criminal Code to add S. 213 which criminalizes communication between a prostitute and their client (justice.gc.ca). 1985’s Bill C-49 led to a huge spike in the number of prostitution-related arrests which peaked i...


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...stomers. If the Canadian government were looking to truly curb prostitution while still protecting the women involved, laws regarding prostitution should be reformed to reflect modern Canadian values of equality for all, the refusal to accept sexual bondage of women as well the rejection of control of women by people whether they be customers, pimps or traffickers. Canada should look onto Swedish law as an example to follow as the complete legalisation, like in Germany and the Netherlands, may lead to even more involvement by organised crime into the industry while the exclusive criminalisation of customers will effectively dry-up the market. While, ultimately, it is the complete disappearance of the industry that is wanted any laws—current or future—should be coupled with increased counselling and support for women who find themselves in such dire situations.

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