Sometimes, the term “sex work” is used, as well as “prostitution”. But whichever term we choose to say, it does not eliminate the stigma attached to it. Cases such as the Bedford V. Canada Case (144) indulges into the conspiracy of sex work and challenges certain sections of the Criminal Code that make business in relation to prostitution illegal. Ideally, a sex worker has a career just as a teacher or lawyer. For this reason, their human rights and dignity should be protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as are other professions. However, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Criminal Code do not seek to protect sex workers, yet, they seek to do otherwise using certain sections of the Criminal Code to criminalize sex work. Therefore, sex workers demand a permanent change in the law, their rights and freedoms in order to feel less threatened about their choice of work. This paper attempts to illustrate the legal terms of sex work, the main arguments made in the Bedford Case as well as an understanding of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Criminal Code, what sex workers face and are diligently demanding.
Prostitution is legal in Canada, and to be a sex worker is legal. However, almost every activity that is related to prostitution is considered illegal under the law. That is to say, in practice, prostitution is viewed as a criminal activity. Because prostitution is criminalized, it augments the attitude that they are not or less worthy of being protected or they simply “deserve what ever they get”. This stigma clearly marginalizes sex workers and allows for people to freely exploit, humiliate, harass, and physically abuse these individuals.
Sex workers are abused and experience violence in many cases. Things such as rape, assault, verbal harassment and murder is what they are faced with day-by-day. Statistics Canada says sex trade is job that is at a high risk since 2000. Homicide in Canada report had said that since 1991, 73 sex workers were murdered on the job. Sadly, this trend remains today. In 2007, 15 sex workers were reported “killed as a direct result of their profession, up and average of 7 per year for the previous decade”.1 Research has proven that the murder scale for sex workers “represents roughly 60 to 120 times the murder rate of adult women in the general Canadian population”.2
Sex work is a very controversial topic and many individuals are passionate about what they believe. Regardless of the moral arguments, beliefs and disbeliefs, every person in Canada owns the right to have their human rights as well as their health respected one hundred percent. The Courts of Canada have focused on the precise question of whether or not Canada's current laws abide by the Constitution and serve to protect the human rights of the persons engaging in sex work.
Although prostitution is legal in Canada and it is legal to be a sex worker, it is difficult for them to actually engage...