There was interesting news from Canada this week with the Supreme Court striking down the country’s prostitution laws.
The high court deemed that the laws prohibiting laws prohibiting brothels, communicating in public with clients and living off the profits of prostitution were too sweeping.
The ruling, which was brought about by a challenge filed by former and current sex workers, has lead to the Canadian government being given a year to think up new legislation.
The logic behind the ruling is simple. The law stopping brothels was forcing sex workers to work on their own. The law against living off the profits of prostitution stops prostitutes employing security. Stopping them communicating with clients in public forces them to meet in secluded areas. All of this results in the security of the sex worker being put at risk. Justice McLachlin wrote.
“Parliament has the power to regulate against nuisance, but not at the cost of the health, safety and lives of prostitutes.”
“They go a critical step further, by imposing dangerous conditions on how prostitutes operate.”
A Canadian women’s rights group condemned the decision. Kim Pate, executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies described it as a ” Sad day.”
“We’ve now had confirmed that it’s OK to buy and sell women and girls in this country. I think generations to come- our daughters, their granddaughters and so on will look back and say ‘what were they thinking?'”
I sometimes wonder whether these pressure groups are more interested in getting rid of prostitution than actually ensuring the safety of those who make a personal choice to engage in this line of work.
We just want to see sex workers safe. We will leave our opinions of people who proclaim to promote the rights of women, yet want to see sex workers participate in dark alleys with no security to another day.
Comment below with any thoughts you may have!
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