Federal Solicitation Laws Put Sex Trade Workers at Risk

OTTAWA- NDP Social Policy Critic Libby Davies wants Parliament to take a closer look at how the law is failing to protect sex trade workers. Davies is calling for the creation of a special committee that would review Canada’s solicitation laws.

“Current laws on prostitution are making street-level sex workers vulnerable to selective enforcement laws, as well as exploitation and violence,” said Davies. “This motion would provide the House of Commons with a real opportunity to improve the safety of sex-trade workers and communities overall. ”

Since the discovery of 63 missing women and 15 murder charges laid in British Columbia, Davies has brought to light the disturbing reality of Canada’s justice system and its failure to protect prostitutes.

“The illegal nature of the sex trade has a dramatic impact on the safety and rights of those working in the industry. Street-level prostitutes are criminalized by Canada’s laws against solicitation and are less likely to ask for police protection when at risk,” said Davies

Numerous studies have shown that a majority of sex-trade workers have received treatment for a physical injury while working in the sex trade. In the 1990’s, murders of prostitutes made up 5% of the overall homicide rate of women in Canada.