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Sisyphe.org Accueil Plan du site
mardi 30 novembre 2004
Appeal to the Canadian government
Decriminalize prostituted women, not prostitution
DANS LA MEME RUBRIQUE
Burkini Is a Feminist Issue Too
The notion that it’s ok for disabled men to pay for sex is rooted in misogyny and ableism
Egyptian doctor living in Zurich produces educational videos about health and sexuality for the Arab world
Amnesty International and Prostitution : Not in Our Name !
Open letter to rabble.ca - Support Meghan Murphy suffered a misogynist campaign by the sex industry lobby
"Insectual - The Secret of the Black Butterfly", by Barbara Sala
Canada’s New Sex Trade Law
Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism
“Harm reduction” is not enough to appropriately analyze prostitution
True Progressives Encourage Women’s Equality, Not Their Prostitution
Sexual mutilations outside Africa : new report and new denial except the Iraqi case
FGM slowing down ? The UN asserts it, the Indonesian case contradicts it
Prostitution, STRASS and the senator - When opacity becomes relevant
Is equating prostitution and rape ‘intolerable violence’ ? Really ?
Obama, Madonna and us
After Ontario Courts rule on Bedford : a rant
Comparing Sex Buyers and Non-Sex Buyers July 2011 (Boston)
Sex resistance in heterosexual arrangements
Abolitionists of the prostitution system : who we are, what we want !
Women Living Under Muslim Laws Statement on Libya
Prostitution is a Threat to Humanity
Prostitution - Call for Australia’s prostitution laws to be tightened
Violence - An Open Letter from Black Women to SlutWalk Organizers
Nothing that is sexual can be considered criminal : hidden sexual violence in the DSK case
The Truth about Global Sex Slavery – A Book by Lydia Cacho
Why reproductive rights and prostitution are not the same thing : A response to one decriminalization argument
Prostitution - The abolitionist project within the conference Women’s Worlds 2011
Montreal - The Turcotte jury got it wrong
Reasons I Will Not Go On the Slutwalk
International Sex Industries and their Accomplices Hamper the Autonomy of All Women
Ten Critical Reasons for getting rid of Harper’s Conservatives
Real solidarity with prostituted women is in the fight for abolition of prostitution
Decriminalize prostituted persons and criminalize those who exploit them (‘johns’ and pimps)
Polygamy in Canada Should Remain Illegal
My fears of the push for indoors prostitution
We cannot be satisfied with the simple harm-reduction model
The Native Women’s Association of Canada is Worried About Himel’s Judgement on Prostitution
Ontario Court Decision Abandons Aboriginal Women and Women of Colour to Pimps
Response to the VPD review in the cases of the Pickton Murders
Speech - The effects of globalization of political Islam on Women’s Rights, the question with polygamy, the Niqab and Honour Killing
Quebec Forges Enlightened Trail on Burkas
Breast Cancer a Disease, No a Marketing Opportunity
The International Campaign To Closedown Iranian Embassies
Violation of rights in Iran, a window from my experience to a broader picture
"Sex worker" ? Never met one !
The One Million Signatures Campaign has been awarded the prestigious Global Women’s Rights Award from the Feminist Majority Foundation
Prostitution - Feminist Perspectives, a book
Prostitution : Violating the Human Rights of Poor Women
More than 1 000 american historians call for equity in the stimulus package in open letter to Obama
Order of Canada Awarded to Dr. Morgentaler - Acts of intimidation should not rule Canada
Femaid report on Afghanistan, May 2008
Time for Quebecers to be more open : Bouchard-Taylor report
Canadian Bar Association supports strengthening equality in the Quebec Charter
Zero Tolerance for Johns : How the Government of Sweden Would Respond to Spitzer
Politicians are responsible for toxic, misogynist environment facing girls
Spitzer - The Myth of the Victimless Crime
Goodbye To All That (#2)
The freedom to never prostitute oneself
NO legalized brothels for the Olympics 2010 - Aboriginal women’s Action Network statement on prostitution
CLES says NO to the violence of prostitution
Does Porn Make the Man ?
A Trip Into the Absurd
Mothers File International Complaint Against United States
Prostitutes are victims, not criminals
Anthology of Québec Women’s Plays in English Translation, Volume I (1966-1986)
The Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES) intervene during the upcoming provincial election
Prostitution - Three Women and a Debate
Men Favour the Apolitical Discourse on Prostitution
The Whole Truth Must be Told : Sylviane’s testimony on her experience of prostitution
Democracy and Religious Obligations : an Impasse ?
What is liberation ? Feminism past, present and future
Books by Andrea Dworkin
Globalization, Militarism and Sex Trafficking
Muslim Groups Denounce the Cultural Relativism of a Certain Left
Canadian Muslim leader alleges her veil views sparked vandalism
Prostitution : CATW’S Post-World Cup Statement
NOW to denounce so-called parental alienation
Prostitution : for an Abolitionist Bill
The dimensions of trafficking for purposes of prostitution
"Charm is a Guise ; Batterers Belong in Jail, Expert Says"
Interview with Catherine MacKinnon : Are Women Human ?
Danish cartoons - Doing away with the Enlightenment ?
It’s happening next door : from incestuous girls to alienating mothers
Green Light for Pimps and Johns
Buying Sex is not a Sport
Prostitution is Violence Against Women
The Ideal Site for the Crime
Tell me, what does "gender" really mean ?
Gunilla Ekberg : « The best thing we can do for our sisters is to support them to get out of prostitution »
Interview with Catharine A. MacKinnon : « They haven’t crushed me yet. »
Decriminalizing prostitution, a magnet for pimps and johns
Declaration on Religious Arbitration in Family Law
Prostitution : Towards a Canadian policy of abolition
Prostitution inseparable of violence against women
The need for a public debate on prostitution and its social consequences
Prostitution of First Nations Women in Canada
270 000 $ granted to Stella for a four days event on sex work
IN MEMORIAM : Andrea Dworkin or The passion for justice
Decriminalizing prostitution will not improve the security of prostituted women
Dworkin - Taking Back the Night
Backlash and Whiplash : A Critique of Statistics Canada’s 1999 General Social Survey on Victimization
Helping the prostituted women or promoting prostitution ?
The Need for a Public Debate on Prostitution and its Social Consequences
The legalization of prostitution and its impact on trafficking in women and children
Prostitution Links, Women’s Justice Center
"If you don’t take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits"
Sweden Treating Prostitution as Violence Against Women
Forced marriage as crime
Why Women Must Get out of Men’s Laps
International Campaing Against Shari’a Court in Canada
Canada Contributes to the Sexual Trafficking of Women for Purposes of Prostitution
Fathers’ Rights Groups in Australia and their Engagement with Issues in Family Law
Women Rage Against ’Rape’ in Northeast India
Sexual domination in uniform : an american value
Tribunals Will Marginalize Canadian Muslin Women and Increase Privatization of Family Law
The sexual sadism of our culture, in peace and in war
Queer theory and violence against women
The Legalisation of Prostitution : A failed social experiment
Globalization and the Sex Trade : Trafficking and the Commodification of Women and Children
Will Paternal Paranoia Triumph ?
Ode to Survivors
Court confirms any woman’s human right to organize with peers
Program produces motherless kids
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN Labour Organization (ILO) Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part One)
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN International Labour Organization Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part Two)
Elisabeth Badinter distorts feminism the better to fight it
Prostitution : Rights of Women or Right to Women ?
The "Stolen Feminism" Hoax : Anti-Feminist Attack Based on Error-Filled Anecdotes
Hormone Replacement Therapy, the "Magic Bullet" Ricochets
For the sake of the children : the law, domestic violence and children contact in England
Friendships between women good for health
Children of divorce need our protection
Divorce Bill’s flaws inadvertently aid abusers
Problem isn’t little boys, it’s little minds
A report from Status of Women Canada about the discursive denial of gender inequalities
Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution
Poem for Peace
Peace Rally Speech of a 12 year old American Girl
Good clone, bad clone ?
Canadian Women’s Health Network
So hard to say goodbye
Last year, the Canadian government expressed its intention of revising the legislation dealing with prostitution, in the direction of a total decriminalization not only of prostituted women, but also of customers and pimps. Late 2003, a parliamentary committee was set up for that purpose. Last december, groups favorable to the recognition of prostitution as a "profession" sent a public letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin, pressing him to act in that direction.
As these groups, we refuse that the prostituted women be treated like criminals, that they be harassed and subjected to violence, that they be deprived of care and services, while the persons really responsible, the pimps and the customers, are rarely interfered with by police services. However, contrary to these groups which do not fight against prostitution but want to improve the conditions of "sex work", we consider that prostitution is not a "profession". And that to decriminalize prostitution will not put an end to the "stigmatization" of or to the violence against the prostitute. This did not occur in the countries which liberalized their laws on prostitution and we do not see why it would be otherwise in Canada.
Furthermore, the complete decriminalization of prostitution would imply decriminalizing the activities of the customers "prostituers", pimps and traffickers. In the countries which made this choice, the pimps, recycled into respectable businessmen, become wealthy in full legality, at the expense of prostituted women renamed as "sex workers", whom they exploit to the hilt. The search for profits requires the recruitment of an increasingly young and numerous labour, to answer the insatiable needs of the "customers". It leads to the international trafficking of women for the purposes of prostitution, linking inseparably the fate of the local women in prostitution to that of their "imported" colleagues. The recent scandal of visas granted by Immigration Canada to foreign nude dancers, doomed to be integrated into the Canadian prostitution system, is a perfect illustration of this situation. Studies confirm the spectacular increase of the trafficking of women and children in countries which legalized or decriminalized prostitution.
Prostitution is a form of violence, of exploitation and of alienation. It undermines the dignity and the integrity of the individual. It results mainly from sexual oppression and socioeconomic disparities, which strike first at women and children. It seems to us absurd and irresponsible to seek the decriminalization of a system which crushes thousands of human lives, under the pretext that current laws do not bring forth the elimination of prostitution. Since when do laws eliminate crimes like rape or incest ? Does that mean that we should decriminalize these acts ? Who would dare demand the legalization of slavery or torture, as a way to control their unacceptable consequences ?
Decriminalizing prostitution raises important social, ethical, economic and political issues which far exceed immediate individual interests. How can one speak about "consent" and about "choice" when the average age of entry into prostitution is 13, when everyone knows that it is economic and emotional misery which drives more and more women and children to sell their body, as well as the brutal measures of training to which pimps, traffickers and criminalized gangs are subjecting them to ? Decriminalization of prostitution cannot constitute a true alternative to the increasing misery of prostitutes.
Decriminalizing prostitution would also result in disastrous effects on the relationship between men and women and on the image of women, by giving the impression that all women can be the object of prostitution. What influence would the fact of granting prostitution the status of a legitimate profession also have on young people ? Would prostitution be proposed to them as a career choice or an alternative to unemployment - prostitution for the girls and pimping for the boys ? Would it be then necessary to offer a training in this "profession", as is already done in countries which have decriminalized prostitution ? As for us, we refuse this simplistic vision which would result in submitting the body and sexuality to the logic of the market.
In industrial nations such as Canada, more than 90 % of prostitutes are under the control of pimps. According to a 2002 report published in Québec by the Conseil du statut de la femme (Council on the status of women), 92 % of the female prostitutes would like to leave the underworld of prostitution if they could. "To get out of it", says the ex-prostitute Agnès Laury, "requires the unwavering will not to return to the street, to get help and to totally sever the ties to the underworld". In their respective fields of competence, the governments of Canada and Quebec could require from the beneficiaries of grants intended for the defence of the rights of prostitutes the formal commitment to fight against prostitution and to help the prostitutes to leave this environment by providing them with incentives (training, reinsertion, grant, etc.). The different levels of government should also take immediate measures so that women victims of sexual trafficking can be offered the choice between refugee status or the voluntary return to their country of origin.
In 2001, the number of prostitutes in the world is estimated at 40 millions, 75 % of them aged between 13 and 25. Every year, about four million new women and children fall victim to the world trafficking for the purpose of prostitution. We urge Canada, based on its values of equality and respect for human rights, to let itself be inspired by the model of Sweden, which succeeded in slowing down the expansion of prostitution without criminalizing the prostitutes.
No important research on prostitution and pornography has been effected since the Fraser report in 1985, despite the fact that the situation has changed considerably over the last 20 years. We therefore ask the government of Canada, prior to any reform of the criminal code on the subjects of pimping, prostitution and solicitation, to launch a major study on all the consequences of decriminalizing prostitution, notably on the risks of an increase in local trafficking and sexual tourism. Because the policies on prostitution have a structuring effect on society as a whole and, therefore, on our collective future, we ask the government to also lead a vast public consultation on the subject.
The following persons supported this position :
Louky BERSIANIK, writer ; Aoua BOCAR LY, sociologist and president-founder of Quebec Network of African Women, Horizon 2015 ; Pierrette BOUCHARD, researcher and titular of the Chair of Studies on Women’s Conditions, Laval University in Quebec ; Thérèse BOUCHARD, specialist of human rights and development ; Pascale CAMIRAND, feminist ethician, University of Sherbrooke ; Bonnie CAMPBELL, professor, Faculty of Political Science and Law, UQAM ; Elaheh CHOKRAÏ, Montreal Iranian Women’s Association ; Michel CHOSSUDOVSKY, director of the Research Center on Mondialisation ; Nicole CÔTÉ, ceramist-sculptor ; Djahan DARDACHTI, physician ; Luce DES AULNIERS, anthropologist, titular professor, Department of Communications and Studies on Death, UQAM ; Francine DESCARRIES, researcher and professor of sociology, UQAM ; Margrit EICHLER, researcher and professor of sociology and studies on equity, University of Toronto ; Andrée FERRETTI,writer ; Yolande GEADAH, author and researcher ; Pierre JASMIN, pianist et professor of music ; Amir KHADIR, vice-president of UFP ; Hélène LAGACÉ, specialist of equality and equity between men and women, Henri LAMOUREUX, socio-ethician and writer ; Georges LEROUX, philosopher ; Nima MACHOUF, Montreal Iranian Women’s Association ; Diane MATTE, coordinator, World March of Women ; Karl PARENT,film maker ; Hélène PEDNEAULT,writer ; Gabrielle PELLETIER, biologist and president of Quebec’s Networks of Ecologist Groups, Richard POULIN, researcher and sociologist, University of Ottawa ; REGROUPMENT OF THE REGION OF QUEBEC WOMEN’S GROUPS, Bruno ROY, writer ; Céline SAINT-PIERRE, sociologist, Chair Fernand-Dumont on culture at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) ; Nathalie SAINT-PIERRE, consultant ; Jean-Claude ST-AMANT, researcher in education, Laval University in Quebec ; France THÉORET,writer ; Louise VANDELAC, titular professor, Department of sociology, UQAM ; Michel VENNE, journalist.
For more information : Sisyphe
You can also act against the decriminalization of prostitution. Here are two ways of doing it :
1. You can copy this letter in a e-mail and send it to the Prime Minister of Canada, M. Paul Martin, to the Minister of Justice and to the Minister responsible for Status of Women Canada at the e-mail addresses below :
Address of the Prime Minister, Mr. Paul Martin
2. Send a message with your support to this position, your name, the city where you live and your profession. You can gather signatures around you and send them to us. In any case, do not forget to write the city of residence and the profession of each person.
At : Sisyphe’s
There is no deadline to support this appeal. You can write to the ministers concerned or send us your support at any time.
Thank you to act for a world without prostitution.
New signatures :
AVICE, Mary, personne retraitée, Mandeville, PQ ;
ALBERTINI, Catherine, ingénieure de recherche, Issy-Les-Moulineaux (France) ;
Placed on Sisyphe, 2004, December 5th.