Research-to-Action

Prostitution bill to protect "vulnerable" citizens: Peter MacKay

Ottawa Citizen
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

...But others, including some prostitutes, lawyers and academics, are warning against the Nordic model, saying it will merely force the sex trade underground and leave prostitutes in greater danger of being harmed.

On Tuesday, some of those critics released a report that said the new law should not prohibit the purchase or sale of sexual services.

"The evidence from Sweden and Norway indicates that prohibiting the purchase of sexual services does not result in increased safety and protection for sex workers, nor does it eliminate prostitution," said the report written by the Vancouver-based Pivot Legal Society in conjunction with other groups.

"In fact, violence and stigma against sex workers increases...It is clear that criminalizing the purchase of sexual services will recreate the same devastating harms as the current prostitution laws.

"With this knowledge, it would be unconscionable to enact such a law and then wait for a constitutional challenge to wind its way through the courts. Sex workers need immediate access to safer working conditions."