Sex work laws in Canada, Sweden, and elsewhere

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skdadl

"The privacy thing" ... ???

 

I hate to sound like a  broken record (although I see that I'm going to, because there's another thread where the same argument needs making at even greater length), but we have a problem of false equivalence here -- at least we do if you are still a defender of the basic principles and structures of democracy.

 

Freedom of conscience, meaning autonomy over your own mind and your person (with one significant exception), is the most fundamental structural value of democracy, any kind of democracy. There is a reason it is the first clause of substance in every Bill or Charter or Declaration of any democracy deserving of the name, and in many it applies uniquely to all human beans, not just citizens. As I said in a similar conversation last week, I will not die for your right to drive a car (I think it was municipal zoning regulations then), but I will die for your freedom of conscience.

 

I think it is a serious error for socialists to fall for simplistic oppositions of the individual to the collectivity, given the horrendous uses to which some right-wing populist notions of the collectivity have been put. There is nothing un-socialist about valuing the dignity of every living human bean, and that dignity is always founded on respect for the autonomy of the individual over her own mind and her own body (with that one exception).

 

Referenda have their place in democracies, but not at this level. Democracy does not mean just voting, and it doesn't mean the tyranny of any majority. Section 2 of the Charter is not up for a vote, eh? Ask Rousseau.

 

*The one exception: Any society has the right to restrain your person -- by arrest or imprisonment -- if you are fairly judged to be dangerous to others. No society ever has the right to muck about in your mind, not ever.

 

Of course these are all ideals. But if we don't defend them and teach them, who will?

martin dufresne

I think the people fighting the rich's privilege to buy sex from poorer human beings are doing precisely that. The same goes for buying children, organs. This is not about "mucking about in your mind", it is about preventing you from fucking about in their body orifices just because you have disposable income. It seems to me that your philosophical perspective is all about how wrong it would be to criminalize the person doing what she wants with her body; the disputed dispositions - those relating to johns, pimps and brothel owners - are about others' entitlement to do what they will with her body.

skdadl

Well, no, Martin. There are two things I am opposed to: overgeneralization about a whole complex of social problems, and then anyone's attempt to infantilize any other adult but especially women.

 

 

martin dufresne

Again, I submit that it is the johns, brothel-owners and pimps who treat the women they prostitute as if their agency and their own wishes were of no importance whatsoever, once money is exchanged (usually among them). So who is doing the infantilizing? Can't there be place for a Leftist perspective on this?

Cueball Cueball's picture

Sure there is Martin. If you stop talking about reinforcing and extending the power of the patriarchal state structure by giving the police and the courts even more power, and start talking about real world initiatives to increase access for women to jobs of equal value and equal pay. There is the key to the situation. The fundamental thing that makes women exploitable in this fashion, when they are exploited is lack of disposable income. All you are really doing is driving the sex trade under ground and giving people who exploit women even more power by further marginalizing the whole industry.

What options will these women have once you have driven their business from the streets? Drug dealing? Theft? What?

The last thing people need in this country is more unenforceable laws and high profile police boondoggles used to demonstrate the "value" of our police forces. What we need is better jobs and more basic equality. Everything else is bandaids and "feel good" windowdressing and internet chatter.

It ridiculous to compare "legalized" sex trade in places where the fundamental norm of capitalist inequalities have not been addressed. The fundamental inequalities that lead to exploitation still exist, therefore the inequalities are merely legalized.

skdadl

Susan Davis is a member of this community, is she not? She has told us what she needs to do her work, work that she chooses, and she has written eloquently about the two sets of laws that apply to consenting adults in this country.

 

The only way you can authorize your condescension to her is by muddling up her situation with a number of distinctly different social problems.

 

As for the "leftist perspective," Martin -- sorry, but I don't play more-socialist-than-thou games. You'd need a lot more than a label to sway me there.

skdadl

ohai, cue. 

Infosaturated

skdadl wrote:

Well, no, Martin. There are two things I am opposed to: overgeneralization about a whole complex of social problems, and then anyone's attempt to infantilize any other adult but especially women.

In that case, there should be no minimum wage. It infantilizes people. Don't they have a right to determine what work they are willing to do for what amount of money?

What are people going to do to survive if employers hire fewer people because they don't want to pay that much?

Many domestic workers would be perfectly happy to work 12hrs a day for room and board and 50 dollars a week they can send home. They're adults. Don't they have the right to make their own decisions?

This is not a matter of "personal conscience". The ramifications are not limited to the individual.

 

susan davis

i tried to post an article....link here

http://www.thelocal.se/9621/20080110/

on the swedish model

Infosaturated

skdadl wrote:

Susan Davis is a member of this community, is she not? She has told us what she needs to do her work, work that she chooses, and she has written eloquently about the two sets of laws that apply to consenting adults in this country.

The only way you can authorize your condescension to her is by muddling up her situation with a number of distinctly different social problems.

Susan is not the only woman in Canada nor the only sex worker. Her views matter, but not to the exclusion of everyone elses including men who would like to live in an eglatarian society with their mothers, sisters and daughters.

The "benefits" that Susan claims would accrue through legalization are far from proven and the many negative effects are proven.

The lawyer on the case is claiming that decriminalization cut back on street work but the New Zealand government said it didn't and NZ is their best case scenario. Because of decriminalization NZ doesn't have red light districts but communities are trying to use zoning bylaws to force them out of their areas because people don't want brothels in their communities. Stories of workers in NZ do not paint a pretty picture.

Countries are reporting an increase in child prostitution. Amsterdam is shutting down huge areas of their red light district. Norway and Iceland are changing their laws to be more like Swedens laws. Simplifying this into the right to make personal choices is dishonest. It's like saying unions infringe of the right of individual workers who didn't vote them in.

susan davis

how many women will die while you try to end male entitlement? you are so blind martin......you would cause the very thing you are trying to prevent....what about people? can we not protect people and still argue to end entitlement? why you would leave us swingin in the wind i do not understand...we need rights...just like you and every other canadian enjoy.....

martin dufresne

Women are dying at the hands of entitled men: johns, pimps, traffickers. If they were entitled themselves, not in the limited guise of "sex workers" but as human beings, on which no man has title in the name of "the trade", men would not be entitled to kill them, as they presently are. This isn't utopia, it's already happening wherever these men's privileges are rolled back and women are offered resources to make real choices.

martin dufresne

Cueball wrote:

"If you stop talking about reinforcing and extending the power of the patriarchal state structure by giving the police and the courts even more power, and start talking about real world initiatives to increase access for women to jobs of equal value and equal pay. There is the key to the situation. The fundamental thing that makes women exploitable in this fashion, when they are exploited is lack of disposable income. All you are really doing is driving the sex trade under ground and giving people who exploit women even more power by further marginalizing the whole industry.

What options will these women have once you have driven their business from the streets? Drug dealing? Theft? What?"

I am totally with you as far as creating real access to real jobs being a crucial element of the solution. But you are NOT doing that once you accept that rich males need to be entitled to buy some other folks' sexuality. For this to happen in the numbers the industry is hoping for, you need impoverished people, devoid of choice.

I also think getting the police and the courts off women's backs has to happen now, instead of being parlayed as a bargaining chip to try and buy immunity for pimps, johns and conventional brothel/escort agency owners, as per the current all-or-nothing strategy ( one that has zero chance of succeeding under Harper).

I don't think that making buying sex or pimping really illegal would unleash much significant police/court activity either. It didnt in Sweden 10 years ago or in Norway and Iceland in 2009. These are crimes of opportunity. Make them illegal and announce you mean it and these buyers and procurer slink on to other ventures or venues. Unless you can provide figures that show otherwise, I disagree that "the sex trade" is related some kind of immutable quantity of buying that can only happen overground or underground but cannot be reduced or find alternatives. By local sex workers' own admission, male demand has fallen a lot in Sweden since the 1999 reform, and sex trafficking has nearly disappeared.

So. yes, definitely. lets go on working to create equality, for all, without maintaining a deeply puritanical little den of inequity, prostitution, on the unproven basis that men must remain entitled to use their disproportionate disposable income in this manner. You're right: it is this disproportion that is the problem.

 

Mike Stirner

Martin

People profit off of other people in general, this has been the ongoing crime of all class society, I don't see why there has to be a one sided view towards sexuality unless there actually is some type of secret hang up against it in the first place.

I think people should look at the bigger picture of what sexuality in law entails as such with all of its patriarchical overtones. If you look at all examples of historical female power as well as reciprocity with their male counterparts it is generally connected with a laissez-faire relationship toward sex(bonobos anyone). Getting sexuality out of the law will not imediately strike a more egalitarian society, but it is one of those nessasary steps in the right direction.

Infosaturated

Your use of community and public repeats the worse of leftist euphomisms, I don't believe in the separation of individual and society for one thing. As for vices and personal harm, there are countless things that people do and will always do that may or may not get them killed. Live and let live also means let die or at least get hurt once in a while.

remind remind's picture

It is men who seem to have the hang up about it. And about it and violence against women. And at the same time it seems given how many women die at the hands of their pimps and johns.

The only ones who would benefit from a Libertarian society is men.

 

Infosaturated

Mike Stirner wrote:
Your use of community and public repeats the worse of leftist euphomisms, I don't believe in the separation of individual and society for one thing. As for vices and personal harm, there are countless things that people do and will always do that may or may not get them killed. Live and let live also means let die or at least get hurt once in a while.

Big words I'm not going to look up. Theory that doesn't mean squat.

What I see isn't equal opportunity.  The vast majority of prostitutes are female. An even larger majority of johns are male. That's because rich males are the ones buying the minority of boys and men too. Some women are buyers but it's rare. Guess what colour men are over-represented in the buyer category?

There is no dispute over the fact that the majority of sex workers were prostituted as minors and abused before that. It appears that sexual orientation and gender identity are major factors for young men.  For those who want to transition hormones and surgery are not covered across Canada so they are driven to it out of desperation. Women of colour are also over-represented. That dynamic makes me very uncomfortable. Some of the most disadvantaged people by far are being given the "opportunity" to sexually service rich white men. (poor women from other countries are willingly and unwillingly shipped in too)

Of course the Susans exist too. Women who just want to be left in peace to practice their chosen profession and do not want to be rescued. They deserve to be heard, but not exclusively, and their voices should not be a replacement for doing due diligence. Theory is no replacement for due diligence either.

Michelle

Mike, you're new here, and you seem to be contributing not too badly at this point, so I'm going to assume that when you use an adjective like "cuntish" you're not purposefully trying to troll.

But gendered insults like that are absolutely and totally unwelcome on this forum.  In fact, pretty much zero tolerance would be the way I'd describe how unwelcome a term like that is here.  Please refrain in future.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Mike was making a clumsy reference to Guy Debord, who was a leader of the French Situationists in the late 1960s and author of Society of the Spectacle (1967). I don't really see the point of the allusion in a sex work discussion, the original statement of which was already insulting. Based on the fact that he also made a vague simplification of Michel Foucault's four-volume History of Sexuality, I suspect he has a soft spot for French poststructuralist theory. That can be fun, I guess, but probably not a good idea to bring in casually to a ramped-up debate about sex work amongst many people who know what they're on about.

susan davis

remind wrote:

It is men who seem to have the hang up about it. And about it and violence against women. And at the same time it seems given how many women die at the hands of their pimps and johns.

The only ones who would benefit from a Libertarian society is men.

 

 

how many women are killed by their husbands or lovers? i bet it's more than are killed by pimps and johns.....

Snert Snert's picture

I keep seeing the terms "entitlement" and "privelege" tossed about, and it's really hard not to think those terms are being chosen deliberately, to mis-frame the debate.

Is it some kind of "entitlement" that makes me assume that I can just pay someone to cut my hair?  Is it my "privelege" in play when I hand over cash to someone else to dry-clean my clothes?

Honestly, the term "entitlement" makes it sound like if every sex worker in the world decided to retire tomorrow, men would be "entitled" to say "Too bad!!  I must have my sex!!!  Conscript women at random!!!".

If someone is willing to sell something, we generally feel that it's probably OK to buy it.  We don't generally try to pathologize willing buyer/willing seller transactions.

 

martin dufresne

It is... in absolute numbers. But, proportionally, women in prostitution run 40 times the risk of being killed that people do in the general population (Canadian study quoted in Farley, M., "Prostitution, Trafficking, and Cultural Amnesia:
What We Must Not Know in Order To Keep the Business of Sexual Exploitation Running Smoothly" (http://www.prostitutionresearch.com). 

Also, there are redeeming factors to marriage and to love that I am hard-pressed to find in the currently-coddled male privilege to buy sex and obedience. And,  the majority of women choose to marry and get to choose their husband, contrary to most prostituted women. 

susan davis

40 times? please post a link to that number.....is it related to street level sex work only?

you keep asserting that most workers did not choose, please provide proof or stop perpetuating unproven myths about our lives.

 

people involved in this discussion need to understnad many of the abolitionist numbers around violence are based solely on data collected from street level sex workers or throught a rape crisis line. at no time have any of these groups ever engaged with indoor consentual workers and so our voices and perspectives are missg form their platform.

as listed above, tamara o'doherty- SFU criminology clearly outlines safer working conditions indoor and that in fact sex worker is not inherently violence against women....

people can choose to ignore it or talk in circles repeating the same old arguements, but it simply is not the case. research is disproving this alarmists stance and in the next 30 days john's voice research will once again disprove assertions by our opposition that all sex consumers are uncontrolable, masterbating, pervert, pedophiles .

we are part of canada and deserve protection under the charter. we are workers and not just women. we deserve safety and dignity at work. we deserve to be including in planning of any actio that may affect our safety and futures.

please our sex industry association thread under labour and consumption....

 

susan davis

i do not consider melissa farleys work inclusive and she is based in america not canada. sex workers die in custody and at the hands of police in the us...

at no point was her work subjected to research ethics review as per canadian government federal policies for research involving human beings.

over an over we go in circles. is it only perrin and farley who's work support your position so it is the only work you recognize?or is it just simply that you refuse to read any of the other counless link provided?

drawing assumptions from skewed and highly politicized data is proven to cause harm.

try reading the parliamentry sub committees report or the fraser report ...

http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/Content/HOC/committee/391/just/reports/rp2599932/...

martin dufresne

In response to Susan:

I quoted the source of the 40 X assessment. It is the 1985 Canadian Report on Pornography and Prostitution. (Please note that this does not even take into account letality from other causes: e.g. disease, drug abuse, suicide.)

As for "choice", here is a summary from Farley, M., "Prostitution Harms Women Even if Indoors": "...89% of 854 women we interviewed (in nine countries) said that they wanted to escape prostitution. They did not specify that they wanted to escape street prostitution. Rather, they wanted escape from all prostitution, including indoor prostitution. Indoor prostitution, like other prostitution, is profoundly harmful." (www.prostitutionresearch.com)

I am not naive enough to expect that you will take this data into account but I wanted to honour your request.

 

Ghislaine

Why is it so hard for some here to support susan's (and other men and women like her) right to do what she wants with her own body? 

She has repeated ad naseum that she support efforts against trafficking, child prostitution, murder, violence, etc. 

martin dufresne

is it only perrin and farley who's work support your position so it is the only work you recognize?

Please... I am sure you are aware that I could have quoted the work of other researchers and insdtitutions such as Mary Sullivan, Sheila Jeffreys, Marie-Victoire Louis, Kathleen Barry, Rose Dufour, Marianne Eriksson, Malka Marcovitch, Janice Raymond, Daniel Welzer-Lang, Saloua Chaker, Claudine Legardinier, UNICEF, CATW, the European Parliament, the United Nations, etc. Indeed, it is apologists of prostitution as a chosen, risk-free field of opportunity that are now in a minority.

 

susan davis

not according to my link as provided to the parliamentry sub committee.....

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Why is it so hard for some here to support susan's (and other men and women like her) right to do what she wants with her own body? 

 

Because unless we want to be absurd, respecting her choices would imply that even as she chooses to provide sex work for money, it would have to be legal to provide money for sex work, and the goal of abolitionists seems to be to ensure that it's not legal to exchange money for sex work. susan's rights must therefore be sacrificed for the greater good.

 

Quote:
She has repeated ad naseum that she support efforts against trafficking, child prostitution, murder, violence, etc.

 

Those are all bad things, to be sure, but none so horrible as a man paying for sex and getting away with it! That's what really rubs Martin and his ilk the wrong way: men buying sex. Doesn't matter if they're respectful, polite, wear a condom and leave a nice tip. The mere thought of them walking away, whistling to themselves, suffering no penalty whatsoever for having traded greenbacks for sex, is just crazy-making! 

Lee Lakeman

On the matter of Law:

We have Human Rights law to protect women from sexual discrimination on the job.  As Shelagh Day has pointed out, workers are not allowed in law to give away their human rights protection.  Not in union contracts nor individually.  You cannot in law say oh it is ok with me to be discriminated against because we have established a base line of human rights.  We as a society (even at the UN level have determined that women have a right to avoid sex discrimination on the job.  You can't for instance demand that a secretary write your letters and then give you a blow job.  That would be discriminatory on the basis of sex.  And if you just ask for the blow job without the letter it is still discriminatory.  There is a contradiction between calling prostitution a job and upholding  human rights for women. 

Irwin Cotler who wrote and signed the last trafficking law when in office as Justice Minister, said recently in Vancouver at a public forum at SFU that he blew it by not harmonizing the law against trafficking with the domestic law against prostitution.  He was admitting the trade is interlocked and the multinational trade in women and children is fed by the demand for it in local prostitution and the women and children in the prostitution within Canada require the same compassion, human rights protections and criminal law interventions and services as those carried internationally and are in fact often the same women and children.  Aboriginal women often recognize different international borders

The Candian state instituted criminal law in the last criminal law changes to move away from criminalizng the poor and women on the street by avoiding the vagrancy law approach but there was no agreement to decriminalize prostitution indoor or out.  The repetition that there is no Canadian law against prostitution is nonsense.  In that last round, law reformers improved things but not enough.  They stopped criminalizing women for being prostitutes as a fact about the women and men and children who are prostituted and made the social relations of soliciting illegal. 

Police and other sometimes well meaning reformers then thawarted the best hopes for that law and arrested the women more than the men communicating to buy sex and diverted those men they arrested out of the courts to john's schools etc on the belief that they didi not fully comprehend the harm they were doing.  But everything it takes to support prostitution as an activity was still indirectly criminalized.  Prostitution is a criminal activity in Canada.  The criminal law reform I seek is to improve the move to stop blaming the exploited and get on with holding responsiblle those who are benefitting sexually and financially in the unfair and dangerous exchange: the men who buy sex

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
 You can't for instance demand that a secretary write your letters and then give you a blow job.  That would be discriminatory on the basis of sex.  And if you just ask for the blow job without the letter it is still discriminatory. 

 

What if I ask an employee to parade around in a bra and underwear?

 

Would it make any difference if I were a designer for Victoria's Secret?

Lee Lakeman

Snert, are you really asking me if women are sexually discriminatied against in advertising practices?  In fashion?  In design? in captialism? If criminal law and social policy does not fully uphold equality or is contratradictory in its application of equality principles?  Surely not Surely you know those answers.  So I guess you are just saying that as long as you can find other discriminatory practices and situations that are not prevented or are promoted under capitalism and patriarchy, that there is no reason to advance this one situation of women prostituted that affects a few million women directly and all women indirectly.

I have had my say for now but on the off chance that you really want a legal answer let me know and i will get it for you

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Snert, are you really asking me if women are sexually discriminatied against in advertising practices? 

 

If I were asking a question, I guess it would be "are you sure that context doesn't matter? That legally there would be no difference between, say, an accounts manager asking his assistant for sexual services, and a john asking a sex worker for sexual services?"

 

The lingerie model example was only intended to quickly get past the idea that you cannot bargain away your rights (or, more specifically, that the context of your job will, in some measure, help determine what those rights are, and clearly for a lingerie model, the right not to have to disrobe would not be a right the same way it would be for an accountant).

 

Quote:
So I guess you are just saying that as long as you can find other discriminatory practices and situations that are not prevented or are promoted under capitalism and patriarchy, that there is no reason to advance this one situation of women prostituted that affects a few million women directly and all women indirectly.

 

Like everyone here, I'm in favour of helping those who say they want help, but I'm not ready to just throw out the baby with the bathwater. You're conflating protecting women at risk with your own personal opinion of how that protecting must look.

susan davis

ms.lakeman, prostitution is NOT illegal in canada.....promotion of false ideas is greatly contributing to harm of my community. please keep your facts straight or refrain from commenting.as a person representing an organization claiming to experts in the harms caused by sex work i would expect you to at least know the law.

 

Hate Crimes

 

In the BCCEC report, "From the Curb" Sex workers who participated listed the following acts as violence;

  • Physically being beaten, raped or assaulted by dates, pimps and drugs dealers
  • Being ignored, belittled, humiliated, sworn at, shunned by police and public for being a "dirty ho, crack whore, or slut"
  • Having items thrown at them from vehicles- (very common)

 

Sex workers commented that even children threw garbage at them. People in cars throw beer bottles, pennies, pop and hot coffee. One respondent lost part of her ear due to an assault by a non sex working woman in which the woman threw a beer bottle at her while she was working on the street. Sex workers in our consultation described the pain of being "beaten down by words". Experiences of robbery were also very prevalent amongst respondents. Workers felt they were more at risk after they had made some money.

 

Their words;

  • "Any type of mistreatment is violence because people don't care what happens to our kind."
  • "Being looked at like you're less"
  • "Saying no to allowing us use of their phone or washroom- it leaves us depending on dates and other people who like to harm us."
  • "Being mistreated by the public"
  • "People laugh at me"
  • It's like they take this beautiful thing we have... the ability to give love, and they destroy it."
  • "Johns demean you like you are merely flesh that doesn't deserve respect like anyone else"
  • "It's dangerous out there, especially recently with incidents of getting stripped, ripped off, pushed out of the car naked and hit."

 

Sex workers described violence as activities ranging from public humiliation and social exclusion to more extreme incidents of beatings, sodomy, rape, extreme violence and the abduction and murder of their friends.

 

Overwhelmingly sex workers agreed that violence against our community should be considered a hate crime. They also noted that doing so puts their violent experiences into a deeper context. They expressed that violence against our population is done with "specific intent to cause harm" due their social identity and compounded by their sheer accessibility.

 

Sex Industry as a distinct culture.....again.

 

 

Currently violence against sex workers is not considered a hate crime. Although most can agree that there's not much difference between a truck full of good 'ol boys in white hoods jumping in the truck to drive downtown and find some to lynch and a bunch of teenagers jumping in their car to go downtown and throw things at "crack whores". The most disturbing aspect of this is that most of our community members reported the majority of attacks of this nature were being committed by women.

 

 When we delve into history a bit we find references to the sex industry all through out recorded time; Always kept separate, always a distinct and secretive culture. A difficult revelation about recent history is   that women in fact are responsible for a lot of the stigma sex industry community member live with today. In 1917 when women received the vote in the War Time Election Act one of the first actions influenced by their vote was the implementation of prohibition. Drugs, alcohol, gambling and sex were all made illegal. Unfortunately for sex industry workers that made us as people illegal.

 

During this time sex workers were put into asylums under the guise that they were somehow mentally ill thus their immoral behavior. This attack on sex workers in particular female sex workers by other women resulted in great pain and in some cases death for the workers affected. These women went as far as to create an ad campaign depicting sex workers as evil and as the vectors of disease. Their campaign of speeches, posters and radio spots was so broad and far reaching that this stigma exists to this day. We can see in the high numbers of women reportedly attacking sex industry community members and in the way feminist abolitionist groups still promote sex industry workers as victims, helpless and unable to defend or look after our selves. This latest campaign of hatred has gone on for 100 years some of us refer to it as the prohibition war. Since the beginning of this war human rights have come to the fore front and now the sex industry community is seeking recognition as a distinct culture deserving of protection under the charter. We hope to end the campaign to "end sex work" and have our rights to choose employment, be protected from hate propaganda against us, and to be protected from discrimination based on who we are.

 

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

 

Article 20

  1. any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law
  2. Any advocacy or national, racial, cultural or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.

Article 26

  • 1. all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, color, sex, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

 

International Declaration of Human Rights

Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person

 

Part III

 

Article 6

  • 2. The states parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safe guard this right.

 

  • 3. The steps to be taken by a state party to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include technical and vocational guidance and training programs, policies and techniques to achieve stead economic, social and cultural development and full and productive employment under conditions safe guarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual.

martin dufresne

ms.lakeman, prostitution is NOT illegal in canada.....promotion of false ideas is greatly contributing to harm of my community. please keep your facts straight or refrain from commenting.

Attempts at silencing people are always embarrassing on Babble, but they are especially so when the attempt is made using a strawman argument.
In contrast to the buzz lines endlessly repeated by the pro-prostitutuion lobby, Lee Lakeman was very clear about the current law regarding prostitution and its limits. Please don't misrepresent her.

"The Canadian state instituted criminal law in the last criminal law changes to move away from criminalizng the poor and women on the street by avoiding the vagrancy law approach but there was no agreement to decriminalize prostitution indoor or out. The repetition that there is no Canadian law against prostitution is nonsense. In that last round, law reformers improved things but not enough. They stopped criminalizing women for being prostitutes as a fact about the women and men and children who are prostituted and made the social relations of soliciting illegal. Police and other sometimes well meaning reformers then thawarted the best hopes for that law and arrested the women more than the men communicating to buy sex and diverted those men they arrested out of the courts to john's schools etc on the belief that they did not fully comprehend the harm they were doing. But everything it takes to support prostitution as an activity was still indirectly criminalized. Prostitution is a criminal activity in Canada. The criminal law reform I seek is to improve the move to stop blaming the exploited and get on with holding responsible those who are benefitting sexually and financially in the unfair and dangerous exchange: the men who buy sex." (Emphasis added)

 

susan davis

Lee Lakeman wrote:

 Prostitution is a criminal activity in Canada.  The criminal law reform I seek is to improve the move to stop blaming the exploited and get on with holding responsiblle those who are benefitting sexually and financially in the unfair and dangerous exchange: the men who buy sex

i am entitled to my opinion and to speak freely. how wxactly am i misrepresenting her? you miss represent me as if i am a lobbyist and some how going to profit from all this....so what ever martin. i am a sex worker and do not represent organized crime or what ever you are trying to say i do this week...i represent workers, and have given numbers, so far you have produced no numbers of "prostitutes" you represent, just you representing yourself.

Lee Lakeman

Snert wrote:

Quote:
sorry if my quoting you looks awkward, I am stumbing with the format

"If I were asking a question, I guess it would be "are you sure that context doesn't matter? That legally there would be no difference between, say, an accounts manager asking his assistant for sexual services, and a john asking a sex worker for sexual services?"

  I am saying that in both cases above that you cite, both are illegal according to Canadian law either criminal law or human rights law and are illegal in part because they infringe on womens rights to equality and I want those laws to stay in place and I want women in neither of those postions to be punished for giving in to the pressure.

"Like everyone here, I'm in favour of helping those who say they want help, but I'm not ready to just throw out the baby with the bathwater. You're conflating protecting women at risk with your own personal opinion of how that protecting must look."

I am not conflating anthing but you are correct that I am giving a personal opinion of how that protecting could happen and in my opinion should happen.  Of course if I really had my way we would not need the law.   Men beginning with progressive men would just not do it.  Men do Violence Against Women and Men can Stop it.

 

Doug

So giving sex for money is okay this way....

but not others?

remind remind's picture

Trophy wives are just another part of patriarchial society and men's privilege Dog, however the plight of trophy wives is hardly that of front line sex workers.

Unionist

Quote:

In a powerful submission to a Toronto judge responsible for deciding the constitutionality of prostitution laws, Crown counsel Shelley Hallett said that most hookers run a gantlet of violent customers, manipulative pimps and disease.

“Prostitution is based on sex, lies and violence,” Ms. Hallett said. “Prostitution cannot be practised safely anywhere.”

However, the force of her argument hit an unexpected roadblock when Ontario Superior Court Justice Susan Himel expressed skepticism about its relevance.

“And your point is?” she asked Ms. Hallett.

Judge Himel pointed out that a group of prostitutes who are behind the court challenge have conceded that prostitution is an unsavoury, risky trade.

Rather, the litigants maintain that striking down the laws would at least enable prostitutes to screen potential clients and operate in a more secure environment, Judge Himel said.

[url=Source.[/url]">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/prostitution-dangerous-rega...

remind remind's picture

Hmmm, seems she overlooked the point being made that it can't be safely practised anywhere. Which apparently the litigants and the Judge herself admitted to, as well.

So then really, now that we can see that they all agree it can be practised no where safely, where does it leave us?

Bacchus

A sex worker friend of mine set this up http://sextrade101.com/ and she now lectures on the trade (she no longer is a sex worker, shes now a outreach worker and one of the best)

 

She has said that a woman owns her uterus but her vagina belongs to the state with the way laws are now. She also says that regulation/decriminalization is way safer than keeping it illegal. Most things in life have a best of the worst scenario and thats how she sees it.

The metal plate in her head and the execution of a girl downtown does make her see legalization as way safer than making something illegal so that pimps are seen as a necessity for survival instead of the fucking abusive leeche scum they are

martin dufresne

Such false choices - honoured legal pimps or despised illegal pimps? - are predicated on maintaining men's right to buy and sell women, as do johns, pimps, brothel-owners and the traffickers that feed and fuel this demand. The conceit that protecting this male privilege is somehow protecting women's right to security is simply bankrupt. More importantly, it delays urgent action on ending sanctions against the folks prostituted by this system and providing them with the resources they are crying out for.

 

Infosaturated

susan davis wrote:
i am entitled to my opinion and to speak freely. how wxactly am i misrepresenting her? you miss represent me as if i am a lobbyist and some how going to profit from all this....so what ever martin. i am a sex worker and do not represent organized crime or what ever you are trying to say i do this week...i represent workers, and have given numbers, so far you have produced no numbers of "prostitutes" you represent, just you representing yourself.

While you personally may have absolutely nothing to do with criminal organizations that doesn't mean they aren't a significant player in the prostitution market.

http://www.cisc.gc.ca/products_services/domestic_trafficking_persons/per...

Highlights

The organized crime networks assessed, including several long-standing family-based networks in the prostitution criminal market, are significant suppliers of females to the sex trade in Canada.

The organized crime networks assessed generate illicit income primarily from the confiscation of victims' earnings (ranging between $300 and $1,500 daily per prostitute). Victims can be traded or sold between criminal groups and are also used to contact customers for additional criminal activities, such as cocaine trafficking.

Identified locations of domestic TIP activity includes major urban centres across Canada, as well as smaller centres such Niagara and Peel regions in Ontario. The frequent movement of prostitutes intra- and inter-provincially by organized crime networks is designed to isolate females, facilitate the creation and adherence to new loyalties (typically replacing the traditional family), as well as enable pimps to meet the customer demand for "new faces." These networks are well-placed to shift into alternate venues (from strip bars to hotel/motels, in-call services) and/or to new cities due to law enforcement pressure.

Middle-class females between the ages of 12 and 25 are typically recruited by male peers who also may have been specifically recruited by organized crime. These males use the promise of affection as a primary tool to lure potential victims.

Hip hop music, clothing, and prostitution are popularized by several of the identified networks to facilitate recruitment through social networking (including online), making the sex trade culturally attractive for potential recruits.

Across the country, females trafficked in the sex trade are typically controlled by criminal networks that use direct force (abductions, rape, forcible confinement, assault) and indirect forms of coercion, such as controlling where they live, work, with whom they associate, and threatening of family members.

Now you are going to say well those things should stay illegal but many studies indicate that illegal prostitution and trafficking rises with legalizing sex work. That would lead to more women being victimized. What percentage of the market in Canada is unrelated to the criminal organizations?  Decriminalization legitimizes and entrenches whomever is already the business.  To pretend that they are entirely disconnected issues is misleading.

Amsterdam is closing down large areas of their Red Light District because of the involvement of organized crime. Somewhere around 70% are foreigners. It isn't that easy to control once it is legalized.  Some information from New Zealand doesn't apply because they moved from legalized to decriminalized.

I know, your model doesn't have red light districts but I think that would be even worse than legalization. I don't think what you want will fly in Canada. Just about every post I read in favor of decriminalization doesn't understand what that means. The contents of the posts suggest the use of red light districts and mandatory health checks for sex workers and lots and lots of tax money.

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
So then really, now that we can see that they all agree it can be practised no where safely, where does it leave us?

 

Looking for ways to make it safe, yes?

Caissa

How does an individual choosing to be a sex worker, differ from someone choosing to enter another profession?

I often wonder if this debate has more to do with how we perceive sex than it does about how we perceive work.

martin dufresne

Looking for ways tio make life safe(r) for the disposessed, with no "it" left unturned.

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
How does an individual choosing to be a sex worker, differ from someone choosing to enter another profession?

 

Sex is a Special Thing, unlike all other things, and it's meant ONLY for couples in loving, caring, committed relationships. Anyone who treats an orgasm like they'd treat a back rub (as just some kind of decadent and hedonistic "good feeling") is spitting on the most precious gift that God ever gave us. Buying sexual gratification is like buying any other thing that you like too much... it's just WRONG!

Caissa

I'm inclined to read that as satire, Snert.

remind remind's picture

wonderful....just fucking wonderful...

Bacchus

Geez I hope thats satire.

 

"Such false choices - honoured legal pimps or despised illegal pimps?"

 

Um no Martin. Despised illegal pimps or no pimps I would think. Or at least no need to turn to a pimp

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