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mardi 12 décembre 2006

Protect victims and criminalize profiteers

par Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers (CASAC)

Écrits d'Élaine Audet

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What About the Women Who Want to Get Out of the Sex Trade ?
For the Industry of Prostitution : A Victory Disguised as a Defeat
Federal Report on Prostitution : The Missing Link
The majority report of the Justice Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws : a direct assault on women’s rights and a gift for organized crime
Prostitution is a Form of Violence, not Commerce
The Subcommittee’s majority report is moving towards normalizing the buying and selling of women
A contradictory, inconsistent and dangerous report
A Report Trivialising Prostitution

The Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers congratulates the Justice Sub-committee on Solicitation Laws for unanimous agreement that the “anti-prostitution laws” should be enforced in a manner consistent with international agreements to protect women and children victims of prostitution/trafficking.

But unlike three of the national political parties, CASAC insists that Canadian law should not harbor those who own and profit from the multinational multi-million dollar industry trading in women’s misery.

CASAC notes that women MP’s Mourani and Smith have had to break party ranks with a private members bill to call for criminal sanctions against men commodifying women. We celebrate these women for their support of women and children trafficked/prostituted.

The CASAC member centers agree that prostitution is a practice of violence against women : a practice that capitalizes on and exploits the unequal status of women in relation to men and a practice that reinforces and builds on that inequality simultaneously within Canada and around the world. The way to effectively ‘reduce the harm’ to women and children is to reduce prostitution.

The vulnerability of women and children to the tyranny of the sex trade and the institution of prostitution can be reduced by enforcing everywhere the laws against violence against women and by enforcing everywhere women’s social and economic rights to security and independence. As noted by the United Nations, the advocacy of independent women’s groups is a key element in that social development and the recent federal government cuts to all women’s groups that advocate for women is counter productive.

“All Canadian law and policy should support the objective of ending prostitution as a matter of the equality of women”, says Georgie Sabourin of Timmins’ Women in Crisis Center and regional representative from Ontario. “To normalize prostitution is to normalize violence against women and the inequality of women in relation to men”.

“Prostitution /trafficking of women and children within Canada and internationally involves brutality, economic coercion, racism and involuntary migration”, says Megan Smiley of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter.

CASAC insists that Canada has signed the Palermo Accord and should abide by the spirit of that international agreement in protecting women and children prostituted/ trafficked between countries and within Canada. “Neither the young women of the small towns and impoverished first nations communities nor the young women escaping the impoverished developing world should be left to the rule of johns, pimps, procurers and traffickers. They should neither be criminalized nor economically abandoned by Canada”, says Lee Lakeman regional representative from BC and the Yukon.

“How can the government of Canada fight against human trafficking if it legitimizes and decriminalizes the prostitution industry and makes Canada a haven for sex trafficking ? The Quebec women’s movement is almost unanimous in refusing the total decriminalization of pimping and procuring of prostituted people”, says Michele Roy of Calacs.

For more information :

Lee Lakeman
(604) 876-2622

On Sisyphe, December 14, 2006.

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Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers (CASAC)

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