Monday, November 1, 2010

The "New" Law and Sex Work

In 2014, the Government of Canada under Steven Harper and a heavily biased process, a new set of laws governing sex work in Canada were confirmed into law. This effectively made sex work a criminal activity again with the purchase of sexual services being made illegal. There are also prohibitions against street sex work with clauses against being near schools or churches and communication for the purpose of sex work. These new laws are the same as the old laws which we, the bccec and other groups like PIVOT and SPOC fought for 7 years to bring down in a constitutional challenge.

This has been a disaster for sex working people in Canada with the same harms which initially brought down the laws being revisited through the new legal regime. We continue to fight in anyway we can to change attitudes towards sex work in Canada.

The following represents the current legal regime Canadian sex workers live with and is taken directly from the Government of Canada website; 

1. This Act may be cited as the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act.
Whereas the Parliament of Canada has grave concerns about the exploitation that is inherent in prostitution and the risks of violence posed to those who engage in it;
Whereas the Parliament of Canada recognizes the social harm caused by the objectification of the human body and the commodification of sexual activity;
Whereas it is important to protect human dignity and the equality of all Canadians by discouraging prostitution, which has a disproportionate impact on women and children;
Whereas it is important to denounce and prohibit the purchase of sexual services because it creates a demand for prostitution;
Whereas it is important to continue to denounce and prohibit the procurement of persons for the purpose of prostitution and the development of economic interests in the exploitation of the prostitution of others as well as the commercialization and institutionalization of prostitution;
Whereas the Parliament of Canada wishes to encourage those who engage in prostitution to report incidents of violence and to leave prostitution;
And whereas the Parliament of Canada is committed to protecting communities from the harms associated with prostitution;

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