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Prostitution In Canada Essay

1477 words - 6 pages

Prostitution in Canada §Contents§ ¨ Canada's Criminalization of Prostitution.¨ Failure of Criminalization - Failure to protect prostitutes - Failure to protect public ¨ Why prostitution is staying criminalized ¨ Conclusions Canada's Criminalization of Prostitution Under Criminalization all forms of prostitution are criminalized in Canada. Prostitution has been criminalized because it is seen as having no social or moral values and because it is believed that prostitution is degrading to both the prostitute and the public that must witness them standing on the street corner. While the trend in other western countries has been to move away from criminal sanctions for prostitution, Canada has done the exact opposite. It has brought in a tougher anti-communication law (s. 213.) government committees and task forces have called for even tougher laws as well as more vigorous enforcement of the current legislation. In 1990 the Standing Committee on Justice recommended more strengthening of the laws including fingerprinting and photographing prostitutes and the removal of drivers licenses for those charged with communication for the purpose of prostitution.The government has chosen enforce, rather than change the laws of prostitution. Equal application of the communication law (s. 213) was noted as a concern because prostitutes had both a higher arrest and sentencing rates than their customers.This obviously means that prostitutes are being arrested more than their clients. This also means that s. 213 is not being properly enforced. Both the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Justice, and the Wilson Task Force, were accompanied by poor ideas for providing job retraining and counseling programs for prostitutes (Realizing that prostitution is not a career people usually want, but simply a career chosen out of economic instability.) Yet the belief of both groups seems to be that prostitution must be "solved" through criminal sanctions instead of economic measures.Failure of Criminalization To Protect Prostitutes from Harm. Section 213 (communicating for the purpose of prostitution) while meant to focus solely on "protecting" the public from the "negative" effects of prostitution has the unintended effect of endangering prostitutes, thereby defeating many of the sections held within it. In general, s. 213 has tended to increase the vulnerability of prostitutes. First of all, prostitutes working conditions are worse because fear of arrest places the emphasis on avoiding detection rather than on health and safety. This is particularly true regarding s. 213 which gives a very broad definition of both communicating and public place. This makes it quite easy to be charged and convicted of communicating for the purpose of prostitution. The National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) has reported that s. 213 victimizes women by increasing the health and safety risks associated with street...

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