Essay about The Effects of Decriminalizing Prostitution in Canada

Essay about The Effects of Decriminalizing Prostitution in Canada

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The Effects of Decriminalizing Prostitution in Canada
In 2007, three prostitutes, Terri-Jean Bedford, Amy Lebovitch, and Valerie Scott came to the Canadian government to challenge the current prostitution laws after pending charges were laid against them for illegal acts prostitution (Chez Stella, 2013). The Bedford Case has opened up a debate on whether prostitution should be decriminalized in Canada. Through my research, I offer a comparative analysis of four approaches to prostitution, which aid in illustrating the effects that decriminalization would have on prostitutes, and women as a whole. The four states that I have compared are Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Australia. These countries each hold different views and policies on prostitution. Canada is currently criminalized, the Netherlands is a state in which prostitution is legalized, Sweden advocates abolitionism, and in Australia, prostitution is decriminalized. Through careful analysis I have determined the effectiveness of each of the policies, and which system I believe would be best for Canada’s future. Based on this investigation, I advocate that Canada ought to adapt a similar approach to Australia, decriminalizing prostitution as a means for social, economic, and legal stability for women. It is through decriminalization that prostitutes will have the opportunity to be actively involved in the community, and no longer marginalized members of society.
The Bedford Case was initiated in 2007 by three sex-workers who challenged three provisions within Canada’s Criminal Code, as they argued these sections violate sex workers constitutional rights (Bennett, 2013). The Supreme Court ruled that these provisions do in fact violate section s.7 of the Charter of Rig...

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Challenging Prostitution Laws: Bedford V. Canada. (n.d.). Chez Stella. Retrieved
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Comte, J. (2013, March). Decriminalization of sex work: Feminist discourses in
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Gangoli, G., & Westmarland, N. (2006). International approaches to prostitution. 1-25.

Outshoorn, J. (2001). Debating prostitution in parliament. The European
Journal of Woemn's Studies, 8(4), 472-490.
Overall, C. (1992). What’s wrong with prostitution? Evaluating sex work. Signs, 17(4), 705-724.
Thompson, S. (2000). Prostitution - a choice ignored. 21 Women's Rts,
Van Der Meulen, E. (2009). Public policy for women. (pp. 332-349).
Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated.

Van der Meulen, E. (2009, February). “Sex Work and the State. Briarpatch Magazine.

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