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Canadian judge overturns brothel ban in Ontario


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29 September 2010

Last updated at 08:14 GMT

 

Canadian judge overturns brothel ban in Ontario

 

The judge found the laws force sex workers to choose between safety and liberty Pimping, soliciting and running brothels have been decriminalised in Canada's Ontario province after judges overturned a ban on the practices.

 

The Ontario Superior Court upheld a challenge brought by three prostitutes who argued that the ban forced them to risk their safety on the streets.

 

One of the prostitutes described the ruling as emancipation for sex workers.

 

The national government is considering appealing against the ruling, amid fears other provinces could follow.

 

The ruling will go into effect in 30 days if the government does not appeal.

 

In a 131-page ruling, Judge Susan Himel found national laws banning brothels, solicitation of clients and managing sex workers violated a provision of the constitution guaranteeing "the right to life, liberty and security".

 

She called on the Canadian parliament to regulate the sex trade rather than ban such practices.

 

"These laws... force prostitutes to choose between their liberty, interest and their right to security of the person," she said.

 

One of the three prostitutes who brought the case, Terri Bedford, had told the court she had been beaten and raped many times.

 

She described the judgement as "like emancipation day for sex trade workers".

 

"The federal government must now take a stand and clarify what is legal and not legal between consenting adults in private," said Ms Bedford, who added that she now hoped to work as a dominatrix.

 

But supporters of the overturned laws fear that the ruling will make Canada a haven for human traffickers.

 

Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said the government would "fight to ensure that the criminal law continues to address the significant harms that flow from prostitution".

 

Street prostitution in Canada has been under increased scrutiny in recent years following the trial of Robert Pickton, a Vancouver pig farmer convicted in 2007 of killing six sex workers.

 

Pickton is suspected in dozens more killings. This summer, a Canadian court denied him a new trial.

 

Source: BBC

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Well first off the irony from that article is that Pickton (the serial killer) killed in British Columbia. The law change affects Ontario. That's 1000's of km away and the new law wouldn't have helped anyone escape the psycho.

 

As far as the law itself - let's look at pattaya. there's no problem at all working in Soi 6 and shagging customers, yet tons of ladies still work on the street - because of drugs, they just like to, what not. My point is, the law change won't get anyone off the street because the wink wink nudge nudge reality is that brothels were already legal in Ontario and have been for ages. Americans flock there for sex. Technically illegal, but no enforcement. Guys getting bj in the strip club, madams running boutique brothels downtown... It's one of those laws Canada LOVES to enact. Ones that dont do a damned thing but look good on the nightly news.

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Well first off the irony from that article is that Pickton (the serial killer) killed in British Columbia. The law change affects Ontario. That's 1000's of km away and the new law wouldn't have helped anyone escape the psycho.

 

As far as the law itself - let's look at pattaya. there's no problem at all working in soi 6 and shagging customers, yet tons of ladies still work on the street - because of drugs, they just like to, what not. My point is, the law change won't get anyone off the street because the wink wink nudge nudge reality is that brothels were already legal in Ontario and have been for ages. Americans flock there for sex. Technically illegal, but no enforcement. Guys getting bj in the strip club, madams running boutique brothels downtown... It's one of those laws Canada LOVES to enact. Ones that dont do a damned thing but look good on the nightly news.

 

Good points. I always see people bring up the 'make prostitution legal' argument, thinking that it's some magical way to get all working ladies off the street.

 

I wouldn't think it's that simple. Even legalized, that won't mean it'll get all ladies off the street or prevent crime or other issues. There are those that couldn't or wouldn't work in legal brothels anyways, maybe they are underage, or have various STD's, or drug addiction, the list is endless.

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