Prostitution Law in Canada

 This is indeed one of the hot topics in the recent times.  The problem that is to be discussed in this blog is based in criminal laws in Canada, which concerns the laws regarding the different legalities that have been enforced through the new law that has been implemented on prostitution. The prostitution is a legalised profession in Canada but many complexities bar the sex workers from legally operating within the country. This is the main problem regarding the new law that has been implemented in Canada to replace the previous law that was overly complex and the implementation of the law by the legal system was beyond the understanding of the people who do not have an education in the legal system (Bodkin et al., 2015). This issue is quite important, as the prostitution is a legalised profession thus a source of revenue for the government in terms of licensing fee and taxes. However, the new law is not overly different from the old law that it replaces in this regard. The supreme court of Canada repealed the old law for being overly complex and hard to implement in the practical conditions but the new law that has been implemented is facing the same difficulty as the complexity of the law and criminalization of the profession is unhindered.
The main question of the paper is the limits on the profession and the different penalties that have been imposed on the profession are hampering the progress and development of the profession in a legitimate business (Laing, 2015). The criminalisation of the different aspects of the business while legalising the act itself, is highly inconvenient for not only the customers but also the sex workers themselves. The overall image of the profession that was to be projected by the legalisation of the act of prostitution is unfulfilled. The problem is not only relevant in the business aspect of the profession as the different legalities ban third party advertising and impose fines on the payment in exchange of sex or any establishment selling sex for money is not only hampering the business operations and the clean running of the businesses of the sex workers. Therefore, the law although designed to bring transparency on the legalities of the business of prostitution has utterly failed as the complexity of the business has increased by the implementation of the new law. The legalization of the prostitution has not had any positive impact on the business as it raised even more questions on which aspects of the business are legal and which are illegal. The primary failure of the overly complex laws is reflected in the response of the sex workers themselves who are generally not from the legal background or highly educated ones (Bunch, 2014). The law that replaced the old law was supposed to make clear distinction between the legal and illegal aspects of the prostitution business, which it clearly failed to do as the different aspects of the law, and the penalties are not clearly differentiated in the law and the as such resulted into a hazy that is free to different interpretations. This makes the debate against the new law stronger as the clarity of the law was one o the main points against the old law that led to the law being repealed.
The safety of the sex workers in the business in Canada was also one of the main reasons of the old law being repealed (Krüsi et al., 2014). The new law has some provision on the safety of sex workers who are forced into the industry against their consent. The program for the prevention of the incidence there has been a provision made into the new law that facilitates the rehabilitation program for any prostitute who wants to leave the profession. However, the condition of the profession has not increased as the legalization of the prostitution does not extend to the brothels or other establishments that sell sex for money. Therefore, the prostitutes are still forced to find their customers on their own and their safety is jeopardised as they have no protection of any agency or business as the running of a business that sells sex is still illegal under the new law. There are no provision under the new law that allows for a third party to negotiate with the customer on behalf of the prostitute so they have to handle all aspects of the trade by themselves. This forces them onto the streets, which makes them vulnerable to the use of force by the customers and other criminal elements of the society. This increases the probability of sexual crimes on the prostitutes several folds and many in the legal profession admit it and the different unions and collaboration of the sex workers like the Toronto Sex Workers’ Action Project are protesting strongly against the new law. The main demand from the quarter of the sex workers is the decriminalization that makes the business legal entirely and allows the sex workers the same protection that other taxpaying professionals have (Brock & Teixeira, 2015). The decriminalization of the prostitution is out of the question as it is a sensitive subject for the society and can lead to many adverse impacts on the society. However, the safety of the sex workers that has been jeopardised by the new law needs to be amended immediately. The legalization of one profession is entirely up to the government but if it has been legalised then there needs to be adequate protection offered to the prostitutes like any other profession. The overall uptake of the new law that are affecting the safety of the citizens is the main matter of concern from the new law.
The use of the advertising of sex by any third party is illegal by advertising for his or her sexual services are legal. There is confusion regarding this aspect of the law as well as many of the prostitutes working in the industry are unclear about the implication of an industry being subjected to more unjust unclear regulations is a matter of concern. The complexities of the laws that legalise the trade of sex but many criminal penalties are imposed upon the providers of service and the customers is unjust and the different nuances of the laws are liable to lead to misinterpretation of the law and result in unintentional breach of law. This is another problem of the new law that can be used as a point against the new law and the similarity of the new law to the old one makes it just as unfair and hazy.
The interpretation of the laws in the professionals is vague in most cases and is unable to clarify which aspects of the business of sex are illegal (Perrin, 2014). The confusion in the misinterpretation of laws have raised more questions regarding the phrasing of the new law within just a few years that attest to the fact that the new law is indeed just as unfair to the profession as the old one. The numbers of questions that are not clarified raise the question of the applicability of the law. The law enforcement professionals are quite opinionated about this regard as they in many cases admitted that the impact of the law enforcement of the new law is minimum as it is not very different in regard of the criminalization from the old law. Some of the questions that have been asked by the sex workers or their representative point out the fact. One such question quotes two parts of the law that separately imposes a fine on the sex worker and the customer if they are involved in the business in the vicinity of a public place that might have potential underage visitors. Another part makes the point of having sex in a place where a minor can be exposed to the act a punishable offence. Therefore, the question is quite valid as it asks if it is illegal to conduct the business indoors which is in the vicinity of a place where the children are present. There are many such questions that arise from the wording and unclear definition of the law. Therefore, it can be said that the new law is raising the same problems that caused the repealing of the old law by the supreme court of Canada.
The new bill that has been passed in 2014 to create the new law does not clear the old law regarding the prostitution, the limits imposed on the profession even after the legalization of prostitution, and this affects one profession severely even after the legalization (Sampson, 2014).  The law is obstructive to the business of the sex workers and in the name of safety and decency limits the scope of the business that is unfair as no such obstructions are placed on any other profession. The criminalization and the complexity of the law also increase the chance of unfair imprisonment and the prosecution of the professionals in the sex trade a possibility. Therefore, the law needs to be more modernised where the business of the sex trade is truly legalised instead of just in name. Therefore, the law is very important as it subjects a part of the taxpaying citizenry to unnecessary hardship and affects their safe operations within the scope of the business.

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