2013-12-21 09:12:42

Canada strikes down prostitution laws

(Vatican Radio) Canada’s highest court struck down the country’s anti-prostitution laws, sparking grave concern from religious groups and anti-human trafficking activists.

Prostitution as such is not illegal in Canada but the Supreme Court on Friday struck down the country’s three prostitution-related laws that banned brothels and bawdy houses, street soliciting and living off the profits of prostitution.

Sex workers argued that the bans made their work more dangerous and launched the legal battle after the serial killings of prostitutes. But the ruling has drawn criticism from groups that are working to bring an end to human trafficking . They say abolishing these limits will only increase human trafficking to Canada.

Kim Pate of the Elizabeth Fry Association commented on the impact of this ruling for future generations of Canadian women.

“It’s a sad day that we now have confirmed that it’s now okay that you can buy and sell women and girls in this country. I think generations to come--our daughters, our granddaughters, and on--will look back and say, ‘what were they thinking?’” she said.

The ruling does not come into effect immediately. The Supreme Court has given Parliament one year to respond with new legislation and the existing laws would remain in place until then.

Listen to the report by Andrew Summerson: RealAudioMP3

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