For Immediate Release
June 13, 2013
Today the Supreme Court of Canada heard Bedford v Canada. Canada’s prostitution laws are at stake. Will the Supreme Court strike down the three provisions pertaining to prostitution laws (living off the avails), (keeping a common bawdy house) and (communicating for the purposes of prostitution)? While our laws certainly need reform, Defend Dignity sides with our current laws based on the fact that some laws in place are better than no laws. Defend Dignity is grateful for those who intervened on behalf of this position.
To strike down our current laws in Canada would mean greater exploitation of women and children and pushing the most vulnerable further to the margins of our society. It will mean increased trafficking and organized crime.
Most prostituted women in Canada begin as children. This constitutes child abuse and not prostitution. Many prostituted women are vulnerable to exploitation because of childhood sexual abuse. Poverty and homelessness are huge factors in women turning to prostitution. Prostitution must not be seen as a solution to female poverty. Sadly, First Nations women are among the most exploited women in Canada. Prostitution disproportionately affects the lives of Aboriginal women and girls due to the ongoing effects of colonization.
Prostitution stems from, and is fundamentally contrary to, sex equality. It is a form of male violence against women. It is the demand for paid sex that fuels trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children.
Defend Dignity, along with other abolitionist groups, calls for law reform based on the Nordic model of law. Defend Dignity will continue to uphold the cause of the oppressed and work to change our laws to reflect this stand.
As we wait for a ruling from the Supreme Court, it is crucial for every citizen to advocate our members of parliament for a Canadian form of Nordic law. Join us in informing and asking your MP to make a difference for sexually exploited women and children in Canada.
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