Determining Your Position – A breakdown of viewpoints on prostitution
With just a few days left for Canadians to comment on our prostitution laws, if you are a procrastinator* like me, it may be time to sit down and really think about what you want to see happen with regards to prostitution laws. Critically evaluating your own position on prostitution may help you better answer the questions posed by the Canadian government regarding our law reform.
But first, there are several ways you can comment:
You can send a letter to your MP, you can sign one of many petitions floating around the internet, or you can answer 6 questions to offer your input to the government, and you need to do this before March 17. (Oops sorry, I am posting this with little time left to comment!)
Today’s post is meant to help you establish your own position by looking at the more ‘black and white’ perspectives on prostitution.
So what are the six questions you need to answer for Canada?
Your personal view on a violation of a human right:
Option 1 is the premise of the Nordic Model, or in more clear terms (since not every Nordic country has adopted the same legal structure for addressing prostitution), the Swedish Model whereby the selling of sex is decriminalised and the buying of sex is criminalised. The idea behind this is to protect those whose human rights are being violated (the seller), and to criminally prosecute the violator of the human right (the buyer). Prostitutes are free to solicit sex but Johns can be charged for purchasing sex.
This is motivated by the belief that prostitution is a gender injustice, as women are grossly over represented within the sex industry and that prostitution is violence against women.
Option 2 is the premise of decriminalisation or legalisation of prostitution.
Decriminalisation; for example in New Zealand, where soliciting, living off the proceeds of someone else’s prostitution and brothel-keeping have all been decriminalised, and while locally by-laws can be created regarding zoning (for brothels) and advertising, sex work can not be prohibited.
Legalisation; for example in the Netherlands, where prostitution is legal and regulated. Individuals can work in prostitution so long as they meet specific requirements designed to prevent exploitation and criminal activity. Sex work can be prohibited if the conditions do not meet legal standards. Most famous are women working in window prostitution, but there are other forms of regulated prostitution. Originally there was no ban on pimping, which was amended, and recently stricter regulations have come into place due to high levels of human trafficking and exploitation.
Do you think there is a difference between human trafficking and prostitution? Or in other words, can an individual make a choice to sell their body?
Do you think the legalisation of prostitution leads to an increase in human trafficking?
Tomorrow I will write a breakdown of the main models up for discussion – decriminalisation, legalisation, or the Nordic Model. Which you can now read here: Determining Your Position – A breakdown of legal structures surrounding prostitution