July 14, 2014


Prostitution is an issue that has troubled society for thousands of years.  No society has been able to find an effective solution to it.

There are several facts about prostitution, however, that can be acknowledged:

1.    Despite safety precautions, it was, is, and will be forever, a dangerous activity.  This is a fact no matter where it is carried out – on the streets, in cars, brothels, massage parlours, or by escort services because it always involves unpredictable, uncontrollable factors:

2.    Because of the risks, children should not be encouraged to become involved in prostitution and should be protected from it;

3.    Some prostitutes have the confidence and competence to operate with some safety precautions in place.  Most prostitutes don’t;

4.    A few prostitutes like being in the sex business and can live a financially comfortable life with it.  Most don’t like it, and want to get out, providing they can find other ways to support themselves;

5.    Prohibiting prostitution will not stop it from taking place.  Neither does prohibiting murder, theft and kidnapping, etc., stop them from happening.  Legislation prohibiting such activities, however, does have a deterrent effect on these offences taking place;

6.    Decriminalizing prostitution (regulating its operation) does not work.  Just ask Germany, which decriminalized prostitution in 2002 and is now over-run with 400,000 prostitutes mostly from eastern Europe.  Decriminalizing prostitution allows human trafficking to flourish.  The winning argument in favour of decriminalizing prostitution in Germany was that it was a consensual act between adults and why prohibit it since prostitution was the same as other business and workers in the industry should be entitled to employment benefits such as pensions, etc.  They should also pay income tax.  According to José Mendes Bota, the distinguished Portuguese MP who reviewed prostitution laws on behalf of the Council of Europe, when testifying before the Justice Committee last week on the prostitution law, Bill C-36, only 44 of the 400,000 prostitutes in Germany have taken legal advantage of registering for taxation benefits.

Because of this complexity of the prostitution issue, Canadians can ignore the problem, but the problem won’t go away.  Some action has to be taken, and quickly, before the time set by the Supreme Court runs out on December 19th, 2014.

The Conservative Government tried to square the circle on prostitution, not an easy feat. At least Bill C-36 seemingly tried to solve some of the problems inherent with the issue.

REAL Women would have preferred that prostitution be prohibited entirely, so as to serve as a deterrent, and also to protect children from becoming involved on the mistaken belief that it’s “easy money”

REAL Women also believes that prostitutes should be provided with generous choices to help them get out of the life, by substituting treatment and job opportunities for convictions.

Those who opt for decriminalization will be supported in a legal challenge of Bill C-36 by a few of the prostitutes who can manage independently in the business, but they won’t be doing so on behalf of most of the other prostitutes, or for society.

For further information on the foregoing, please contact either:

C. Gwendolyn Landolt                    Diane Watts
National Vice-President                 Researcher
REAL Women of Canada               REAL Women of Canada
(905) 787-0348                                 (613) 236-4001
(905) 889-1993                                 e-mail:

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