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Prostitution Law Reform: Educational Reads Compiled by Faith Today

Titles in bold are "must reads," according to Faith Today editors. Many are also included in the 16-page PDF at www.faithtoday.ca/readyforreform.

Originally published in Faith Today

The Faith Today Interview: How one Canadian woman defends the dignity of women who are prostituted (Glendyne Gerrard interview by Karen Stiller, Jan/Feb 2014).  

Mean Streets: Three writers go out after dark in Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver – they find despair and hope. Includes a sidebar by Julia Beazley introducing the Nordic legislative model (cover article by Karen Stiller, Doug Koop, Andrew Stephens-Rennie, Nov/Dec 2013).

Are Morals Still Relevant? Some say our prostitution laws should not enforce morals (Activate column by EFC Vice-President Don Hutchinson, Jul/Aug 2013)

Two Days in June: Are our laws on prostitution and euthanasia outdated? (The Gathering Place column by EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger, Jul/Aug 2013)

Prostitution in Canada: Can We Help to Break the Chains? The crisis over Canada’s prostitution laws means now is the time to bring urgently needed improvements in law – and in our attitudes and ministries as individuals and as Christian institutions. (cover article by Karen Stiller, March/April 2011)

Human Trafficking: Tragedy and Hope (cover story by Debra Fieguth, Nov/Dec 2009)

Slavery in Canada (The Gathering Place column by EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger, Nov/Dec 2009)

Helping Prostitutes in Jesus' Name (feature article by Bill Fledderus [Faith Today article archived off-site], May/Jun 1997).

Recent EFC Blog Posts at theEFC.ca/ActivateCFPL

The Case Against Legalized Prostitution by guest blogger Georgialee Lang, a lawyer who presented the EFC's arguments before the Supreme Court of Canada in the Attorney General of Canada v. Bedford case in which Canada's prostitution laws were being challenged. (June 24, 2013, originally published at lawdiva.wordpress.com).

Don't Ignore the Real Issue on Prostitution Countries that have legalized prostitution have found it neither provides more control over criminal behaviour nor offers greater protection for women from violence. It has also led to increased rates of sex trafficking. The only model of law that has proven effective is the so-called “Nordic” model. (By Julia Beazley, June 19, 2013, as originally published in the National Post, June 17, 2013.)

Prostitutes Are Finally Free! (From the Entanglements of the Law) … Or Are They? So, what did the Ontario Court of Appeal actually decide? (by EFC Vice-President Don Hutchinson, March 28, 2012).

Prostitution Ruling Highlights Need for New Laws The EFC is deeply concerned that yesterday’s decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Bedford v. Canada (Attorney General) not only fails to protect women from exploitation, but could lead to a situation in Canada where the most vulnerable are put at greater risk of violence, exploitation and trafficking. (Reposting of EFC press release, March 27, 2012.)

Rethinking Prostitution in Canada In the short video Rethinking Prostitution in Canada, EFC Policy Analyst Julia Beazley discusses some misconceptions about the issue of prostitution, advocating a different understanding of what is mistakenly termed the world's oldest profession, and suggesting a better, more just way forward. (April 15, 2011)

Behind the Prostitution Story I'm certain that it is unprofessional to break down and start crying during an interview for a magazine story — especially when you're the one doing the interviewing. But that's what I did recently, near the end of a gruelling hour-and a-half long conversation with Katarina MacLeod. She was one of my main sources for the most recent Faith Today cover story on prostitution in Canada. (Karen Stiller’s comments on writing her 2011 cover story)

Ontario Prostitution Ruling: What's That Mean? Justice Marc Rosenberg of the Ontario Court of Appeal has decided to stay the decision of Justice Susan Himel in the Ontario prostitution case Bedford v Canada (A-G). What’s that mean? (Dec. 6, 2010)

Ontario Prostitution Ruling: While We’re Waiting Media headlines proclaimed that Ontario could become a free zone for prostitution starting last Saturday. But the Ontario Court of Appeal has reserved its decision on the interim request ... intended to keep Canada’s prostitution laws in place nationwide during the appeal process. (November 29, 2010)

Craigslist Crackdown Now is an opportune moment in Canada’s history to re-examine the existing legal framework in regard to prostitution, and for Parliament, not the courts, to craft a better way forward. The EFC has advocated that the government amend current laws to adopt what has become known as the Nordic model, which seeks to abolish the sex trade by targeting the demand for purchase of sexual services. (by Julia Beazley, November 10, 2010)

Ontario Superior Court Ruling on Prostitution The EFC is deeply dissatisfied with yesterday’s Ontario Superior Court ruling on Canada’s existing prostitution laws. In her decision, Justice Susan Himel effectively struck down the Criminal Code provisions dealing with living off the avails of prostitution, keeping a common bawdy house, and communicating for the purposes of prostitution. (EFC press release, September 29, 2010)

It's good, it's just, it works...And we should follow suit More than ten years later, the results of an independent inquiry on the evaluation of the ban of the purchase of sexual services ... shows that the ban has been a “success.” Shortly after its introduction, street prostitution in Sweden was reduced by half, and has not shown any bounce-back. (by Julia Beazley, July 12, 2010)

Link Between Prostitution Laws and Human Trafficking Rates The EFC has released a 20-page report entitled Selling Ourselves: Prostitution in Canada, Where are we Headed? The report is a comparative analysis of two distinct approaches to prostitution, taken by Sweden and the Netherlands. It compares the two legislative frameworks and the results of each on rates of prostitution and human trafficking, and then makes recommendations for legislative reform here in Canada. (April 26, 2010)

Can Prostitution be a Safe, Legal Career Option? Prostituting one’s self is seldom a question of “lifestyle choice”. The women murdered by Pickton were not engaged in the sex trade because it seemed like the best of a range of possible life-giving and self-fulfilling options they had before them. They were representative of those trapped in the sex trade – either trafficked in against their will or forced to sell their bodies for a cruel survival. Eliminating these prostitution laws will do nothing to protect the most vulnerable women. In fact, it might well have the opposite effect, pushing the most desperate and least desirable further to the margins of life and uncertainty. (by Julia Beazley, October 13, 2009).

Useful Resources on the EFC Website

Out of Business: Prostitution in Canada – Putting an End to Demand is the EFC's December 2013 comprehensive proposal on prostitution law reform. It is summarized in this news release.

The EFC's 2010 report on the link between prostitution laws and human trafficking rates is titled Selling Ourselves: Prostitution in Canada, Where Are We Headed? (April 2010).

Most of the EFC's resources related to prostitution law reform can be found at theEFC.ca/ProstitutionLawReform, including a great video that can be shown in churches: The EFC on Prostitution Law Reform (March 4, 2014)

 See also:

Editor's Note
In February 2014 the Government of Canada began inviting public input on the reform of Canada’s prostitution laws. The EFC is offering suggestions to help Canadians complete the government’s online consultation, open until March 17, 2014. If you are reading this page after that date, be assured it is still worth informing and educating yourself on this important issue now, and there are other ways that you can take action.

New PDF Version
An abbreviated (16-page) version of the articles on this page, laid out with pictures in the usual Faith Today magazine style, is now available to download free at FaithToday.ca/ ReadyForReform. This is a great resource to pass along. A printed version of it will also be included in the May/Jun 2014 issue of Faith Today.

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