Portal:Prostitution in Canada

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Introduction

Current laws on sex work, introduced by the Conservative government in 2014, make it illegal to purchase sexual services, illegal to advertise, illegal to live on the material benefits from sex work, and in some cases illegal to sell sex in public areas. It is the first time in Canadian history that the exchange of sexual services for money is made illegal. The Canadian Department of Justice, claims that the new legal framework "reflects a significant paradigm shift away from the treatment of prostitution as 'nuisance', as found by the Supreme Court of Canada in Bedford, toward treatment of prostitution as a form of sexual exploitation that disproportionately and negatively impacts on women and girls". Many sex workers' rights organizations, however, argue that the new law entrenches and maintains harm against sex workers since sex workers are still committing a crime, albeit there is an immunity from arrest for material benefits and advertising.

The new laws came in response to the Canada (AG) v Bedford ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada, which found to be unconstitutional the laws prohibiting brothels, public communication for the purpose of prostitution and living on the profits of prostitution. The ruling gave the Canadian parliament 12 months to rewrite the prostitution laws with a stay of effect so that the current laws remain in force. Amending legislation came into effect on December 6, 2014, which made the purchase of sexual services illegal.

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