Decriminalization in Canada?

Does Canada want to "decriminalize" the buying of sex?

A 2013 study of 150 countries from the London School of Economics found that wherever prostitution was legal, sex-trafficking tended to increase, not decrease. Why? Because once something is legal, there is increased demand for it.1 

Because prostitution is inherently dangerous and harmful, there are not many women or men who enter into it “willingly.” This means that sex traffickers push victims into the sex trade through force, fraud, or coercion in order to make a profit off of the high demand for commercial sex.

What is the "decriminalization" of the buying of sex? Decriminalizing the buying of sex gives social sanction to sexual exploitation.

Prostitution is a system of sexual exploitation that requires Abolition, not social sanction.2 It is a system whereby individuals are supplied as public, sexual commodities, which preys upon vulnerable members of society and is rife with violence against those sold for sex. Decriminalization of prostitution in no way rectifies the conditions of inequality, abuse, violence, and dehumanization which animate all forms of prostitution—it tragically assents to them.

At its best, decriminalizing the sex buying may be a crude and naïve attempt to ameliorate deeply entrenched sexual exploitation. But at its worst, decriminalization of prostitution is a nefarious miscarriage of justice that “disappears” egregious human rights abuses by use of political smoke and mirrors that authorize profiteering from sexual violence, and accede to a right of some individuals to purchase other human beings for sex. In sum, decriminalization grants impunity to pimps, magically morphing them into reputable, sexually-oriented business entrepreneurs, and mystically transforming sex buyers into respectable clients.

Questions regarding the "decriminalization" of the buying of sex:

  • Will the buying of sex be a tax deduction for businesses?
  • Will government officials be making expense claims for the buying of sex?
  • Will Canadian youth be "groomed" for the selling of sex?
  • Will brothels be eligible for Summer Jobs funding?
  • Will human traffickers now become hospitality managers?
  • Will Canada's cities now become sex tourism destinations?
  • Will police be buying sex in the communities they protect?
  • Will the armed forces be buying sex in peacekeeping hotspots?

Why not? If it's legal, it's legal.

VCASE Resource Document - What are Canada's laws on prostitution?

1 Cho, Seo-Young and Dreher, Axel and Neumayer, Eric (2013) Does legalized prostitution increase human trafficking? World development, 41 . pp. 67-82. ISSN 0305-750X

Bright Light on the Red Light, The Truth About Prostitution,

[Version française]

© 2021 VCASE. All Rights Reserved.