Prostitution Bill Will “Make Women Safer”

The Executive Director of the Abused Women’s Centre is closely watching the progress of B-36, which the federal government says is on track to become law by December.

The anti-prostitution bill had a deadline of December imposed by the Supreme Court of Canada, which struck down existing laws last year, deeming them unconstitutional.

Megan Walker says the bill addresses most of the concerns her organization has about the vulnerability of women in the sex trade by criminalizing the purchase of sex, and not the sale of it. A group called The Sex Professionals of Canada opposes the new laws, saying they will ensure continued violence against prostitutes by limiting where they can negotiate their transactions. However, Walker says most sex trade workers favour the bill and it will actually make them safer.

Walker says over time, similar laws in Norway and Sweden have made it safer for women in the sex trade. Bill C-36 needs only royal assent after it was given third reading by the Senate.