The Supreme Court of Canada struck down three key provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws. Sex workers have “rights” that must be protected, the court said. In its 9-0 ruling, the court found that laws “prohibiting the keeping of a brothel, living on the avails of prostitution and communicating in public for the purpose of prostitution, infringed on the rights of sex workers and placed them in serious danger.”
But Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government says it will review the court’s decision and propose stricter laws to protect vulnerable sex workers, children and others who witness the traffic.
Many have voiced their concerns about the rulings saying that the laws struck down by the Supreme Court were designed to protect women from exploitation and communities from unwanted dangers from the sex industry.
“Nobody wants this type of business down the hall from their expensive condominium and these businesses are very lucrative and that’s where they are going to move, so it requires some protection of our properties,” said one advocate of strong laws against prostitution.
The Court found that the laws violated the guarantee to life, liberty and security of the person. But the ruling won’t take effect immediately because it gave Parliament a one-year reprieve to respond with new legislation.
Prostitution isn’t illegal in Canada, but many of the activities associated with prostitution are classified as criminal offenses.
The court said the laws against keeping of a brothel forces sex workers on the streets where it is far more dangerous for them to operate.
Parliament will have to reframe the laws around prostitution.
“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Genesis 6:11, 12