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Prostitution and the Ontario Court of Appeal decision - A response from Quebec’s Status of Women Council 

lundi 26 mars 2012

A Judgment that Risks Reinforcing the Exploitation of Prostituted Women by Pimps

(Montreal, March 26, 2012) - The President of the Council on the Status of Women, Ms. Julie Miville-Dechene, fears that the decriminalization of brothels ordered by the Court of Appeal of Ontario will reinforce the exploitation of prostituted women by pimps. The Council disagrees with the Court because it believes that the vast majority of prostituted women have not really chosen to sell their bodies to the highest bidder. For the Council, this decision risks giving more leeway to those who exploit prostituted women, e.g. pimps and customers.

"Governments must intervene in this legal debate to better protect women victimized by this trade and to support them, through appropriate services, in breaking the cycle of prostitution," said Julie Miville-Dechene, President of the Council.

As things stand, the Ontario courts are favoring the individual rights of some "sex workers" to the detriment of the collective right to human dignity of the vast majority of prostituted women. It is wrong to believe that nothing can be done to oppose what some have wrongly called the "world‚s oldest profession." Countries such as Sweden have developed promising strategies.

The Council will be publishing in a few weeks a Notice regarding prostitution that will suggest to governments possible solutions in order to counter this form of exploitation that we refuse to trivialize. For us, this is a dramatic reminder that equality between men and women has not yet been reached.

The Council on the Status of Women is mandated to advise the government and inform the population on issues of equality between women and men. For more information, please visit


Translation : Martin Dufresne

On Sisyphe, March 26, 2012

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