Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Legal Justice vs. Social Reform

Canada must repeal its criminal laws against prostitution to ensure a safe working environment that is the right of people in any other type of job, a Commons justice subcommittee on solicitation laws heard yesterday.

Katrina Pacey, a director with the Pivot Legal Society, said that although prostitution is legal, sections of the Criminal Code allow police to arrest sex trade workers if they are standing on a street corner, for example, and communicating for the purposes of prostitution.

“This is made into an illicit activity and is turned into a black market,” she told the committee, which is in Vancouver as part of a cross-Canada mandate to see if decriminalizing prostitution would reduce the exploitation of sex trade workers.

“What we say is that the only criminal laws that are necessary are the laws that are in place in order to protect sex workers from violence, from exploitation and from coercion, and all of that kind of activity is captured under other laws,” she said.

Ms. Pacey said decriminalizing sex work will mean prostitutes could work indoors in safer conditions rather than back alleys and cars where they are often isolated.

New Zealand no longer has any communicating laws and has instituted a licensing plan for brothels to focus on the safety of sex trade workers, something that Canada could look at adopting, she told the hearing. - Today's Globe and Mail

The arguments certainly sound compelling, considering that social justice is a priority in our country. However, does this mean that we are on our way to socially accept the biggest taboo in man's history?

Would that be an achievment, per se?

Is our legal system trying to adopt what our social values fail to do so? Is legal justice trying to enforce social reform? Would that potentially be successful? Not likely!


At 4:20 a.m., Blogger Gerrit Bosman said...

In Holland prostitution is legaly regulated. Girls even pay taxes. That does not mean that it's a good life for a prostitue. They have a real union and fight for their rights, but as in al other countrys, prostitution is connected with drugs, crime, woman slavery etc. In fact, just like the laws on alcohol and drugs, the only way to prevent people using it is to change the user, not to forbid the drug, a user always finds a criminal who will sell him the drug, or the booze or the woman.

At 11:22 a.m., Blogger Bahar said...

Thanks Gerrit.
I agree with you. Although, you have to realize that your society thinks differently from ours. Sometimes I think we are not ready for this yet.
Let's see what happens.


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