Refer to these talking points when speaking with your MP about keeping PCEPA in place.
1. Prostitution is harmful. The preamble of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA) recognizes that prostitution is inherently exploitive and dangerous, that objectification of the human body and commodification of sexual activity causes social harm.¹
2. Poverty, addiction, mental illness and racialization are contributing factors to individuals entering prostitution or being vulnerable to exploitation.
3. Prostitution violates both human dignity and equality between the sexes. Prostitution is a form of exploitation and sexual violence primarily against women. PCEPA is a victory for women’s equality, because all women and girls are safer in a society that stands up to the idea that some – or any – women or their sexuality can be bought or sold.
4. Prostituted individuals are not there by informed choice but rather by lack of choice. Research and anecdotal evidence tell us that between 88-96% of women in prostitution are not there by choice and would get out if they felt they had a viable alternative. ²
5. Listen to the voice of survivors of prostitution. As their healing from the trauma of prostitution takes place they have valuable perspective on prostitution realities.
6. The driving force behind prostitution and consequently sex trafficking is the demand for paid sex. Without demand, there would be no supply of victims. PCEPA addresses this directly by criminalizing the purchasing or attempted purchasing of sex with fines and/or jail. The United Nations Palermo Protocol³ which is the global response to address and curtail human trafficking has been ratified by Canada in 2002. Section 3, Article 9.5 states:
Parties shall adopt or strengthen legislative or other measures, such as educational, social or cultural measures, including through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, to discourage the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation of persons, especially women and children, that leads to trafficking.
Keeping PCEPA in place supports the Palermo Protocol. It is an essential tool in the fight to end sexual exploitation in Canada.