Friday, August 31, 2007

Editorial: The Problem with Prostitution


Vancouver Sun Files / A sign in Sydney, Australia, advises the publc of a brothel in the Pyrmont neighbourhood. The city put the sign up after some residents expressed worries that a cluster of brothels might sprout up around a nearby casino. Critics claimed the sign was a free advertisement for the brothel.

CANADA--Over the past two decades, Canada's prostitution laws have faced a number of challenges. Soon they will face another.

A group of Vancouver lawyers and sex workers have initiated a Charter challenge arguing that our present laws violate their right to life, liberty, security, equality and free expression.

Our laws don't actually prohibit prostitution per se. They just ban any mechanism of engaging in it -- from soliciting for the purposes of prostitution to operating a common bawdy house.

Those bringing the challenge argue that the laws do more harm than good. They argue that our criminal laws expose sex workers to significant harm: Physical and sexual violence, lack of access to police protection, social stigma, inequality, exploitation and murder.

Their solution? Strike down the laws and institute a regulatory scheme to help make being a prostitute safer.

There is something fundamentally wrong with this vision.

Prostitution laws don't expose sex workers to an increased risk of physical and sexual violence, psychological injury, kidnapping and death. Prostitution does that...

READ THE FULL EDITORIAL AT Canada.com/VancouverSun

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