CCC General Secretary the Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton wrote yesterday to Minister of Justice Peter MacKay with recommendations from the CCC’s Human Trafficking in Canada Working Group regarding the development of new prostitution laws in Canada.
“The Chair… and members of the working group have identified the links between prostitution and human trafficking and believe that legalizing or decriminalizing prostitution will further harm the majority of individuals in the sex trade who are exploited or desire to exit,” said Hamilton.
“We believe that we need to stop viewing prostitution as a vocation of choice and instead view it as an affront to gender equality and violence against women, children, and marginalized populations.”
Among the recommendations:
- “Parliament must be clear and unambiguous in the definition of prostitution as a form of violence, abuse, and control of vulnerable children, women, and men.”
- “Invest strongly in exit programs and support for prostituted persons along with restorative programs for perpetrators; with federal social funding commitment towards provincial governments for these purposes.”
- “Criminalize the purchase and attempted purchase of sex.”
- “Amend our laws to reflect the current non-criminal nature of individuals who are being prostituted. For example, removing the prohibition on communicating for the purposes of prostitution [section 213(c) of the Criminal Code] or restricting its application to the intended purchaser.”
Attached with the letter were a background paper on the recommendations, and a report on ending demand for prostitution by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
The Canadian Council of Churches—representing 85% of Christians in Canada through its 25 member churches—has been hosting the Human Trafficking in Canada Working Group since 2008.