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Canada Reconfirms Decriminalization = Safety If only the US was as smart.
02-22-2020, 09:23 AM
Post: #1
Canada Reconfirms Decriminalization = Safety If only the US was as smart.
Once again a Canadian law against prostitution was found unconstitutional based on the "safety of person" in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of the Canadian Constitution. While the case only involves advertising and an escort agencies income, the same arguments should apply to future cases involving right to purchase sex.

"Legislation for which the stated purposes include eliminating exploitation and reducing the risk of violence to sex workers actually has the effect of exposing sex workers to an increased risk of exploitation by discouraging all third parties other than the criminal element from becoming involved in the sex industry. The provisions also increase the risk of violence by preventing or restricting the way in which many effective safety measures can be implemented by sex workers."," saidJudge McKay in his decision.

Advertising, McKay wrote, allows sex workers to screen their clients before meeting them face-to-face, and helps create social networks to reduce isolation and stigma.

"The evidence, which I have accepted, suggests that sex workers view the ability to advertise as a communication tool which is more important to security and safety concerns than it is to promoting their economic interests," he wrote.

"Limiting the ability of sex workers to clearly communicate terms and conditions for their services and to effectively screen potential clientele will result in a significantly increased risk of serious injury or death."

McKay had before him thousands of pages of reports, testimony from several experts and case law.

Anti-sexwork folks say:
The Crown argued that sex work cannot be made safe and says the legislation is constitutional

"We're protecting pimps. Their Charter rights apparently supersede the rights of vulnerable girls and women," said John Cassells, an anti-human-trafficking specialist with the Christian mission organization SIM Canada. "This has to be appealed."

In 2013 the Ontario Supreme court in one of the longest, most thoughtful rulings declared the previous law against incalls (bawdy houses) and "living of the avails" was unconstitutional since violated the safety of persons. Outcall had always been legal. This was confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada.

In 2014 the conservative government of Stephen Harper passed the "Nordic Model" law called C-36 that makes prostitution legal for the prostitute but illegal for customers. The new law criminalized the purchase of sex, and communication for that purpose. It also outlawed related advertising

Due to its questionable constitutionality and makes cities less safe, most major city police agencies refused to enforce the C-36 law since it would make their cities more dangerous if prostitution had to be hidden, not out in the open and treated like any legitimate business with full protections.

More conservative London Ontario charged the owner couple of an escort agency known as Fantasy World Escorts with violations of the new C-36 law. In Court the agency owners argued the new law made it even less safe for sex workers.

They also argued the law violated their freedom of expression and their right to be free from unreasonable government interference

Justice Thomas McKay ruled that the laws, which prohibit procuring, advertising and materially benefiting from someone else's sexual services, are unconstitutional. In his ruling, McKay said the law against advertising violates the Charter right to freedom of expression, and the laws against procuring and materially benefiting violate the Charter guarantee of "security of the person."

The judge found a wide variety of reasons that adults engage in sex work, with money a primary motivator. Many of them are self-employed or work independently much of the time, he found. While some third parties might be abusive partners or predators, most aren’t, McKay said. They do administration, offer training and support, and security, he said.

“Canadian research suggests that coercion and control of sex workers by third parties is not pervasive.”

The Ontario court decision applies only to this particular case, but does set an important precedent, said James Lockyer, a lawyer for Anwar and Harvey. "It's a very important precedent for other judges to consider when the same issue comes up, but it doesn't amount to a declaration across the country that these sections (of the Criminal Code) are void and of no effect," Lockyer said outside court. "Right now, it's a provincial court decision."

The Ontario Court of Appeal would have to uphold the ruling in order for laws to be nullified. The Crown has not said whether it will appeal the judgment. The case could wind up at the Supreme Court as in the prior case where the Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts that the prostitution law was unconstitutional based on the safety provision of the Charter of Rights, etc.

"On the one hand, this ruling was for my clients, because it means their charges are dismissed," Lockyer said. "But on the other hand, this judgment is very important for sex workers. It enables sex workers to have proper protection in their profession, they can set up their own co-operatives to protect each other, they can hire expert managers to make sure their business is run properly, and it allows them to get off the street, which is the most important thing, because that's where sex work is most dangerous."

Lockyer and Jack Gemmell, the couple's other lawyer, argued that Canada's 2014 prostitution laws drive sex work underground, making it more dangerous because clients can't be screened, and women can't legally hire protection or managers to help them run their business.

Canadian Comments
This will definitely help combat trafficking by allowing girls a legit business and hobbyists legit options so they don’t need to rely on the shady black market. Similar to cannabis where people were forced to deal with drug dealers and who knows what kind of dirty impure unregulated cannabis.

This is a huge step toward eliminating corruption sparked by the government’s decision to violate fundamental human rights to choose what they want to do with their bodies as adults.

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