Commission on Justice and Peace Document Archives

According to world renowned psychologist and researcher Melissa Farley, “prostitution is multi- traumatic with extremely high rates of physical and sexual violence perpetrated against people who are vulnerable usually as a result of gender, poverty, previous history of sexual assault, marginalization because of race or ethnicity, or a combination of these factors.” Proponents of legalizing prostitution argue that moving the sex trade indoors will provide a system of safety measures for those who consent to be involved in the industry. We need to be extremely concerned with the word consent when the dynamics of power are unequal. We argue that sex work is inherently violent and dangerous regardless of location. In fact, girls and women in prostitution have a mortality rate 40 times higher than the national average. Furthermore, it is undisputed that the majority of prostituted individuals enter the sex trade before the age of 18, and many before the age of 16. We need to stop viewing prostitution as a vocation of choice and instead view it as an affront to gender equality and violence against women, children and marginalized populations.

File Type: pdf
Categories: English, Sexual Exploitation
Tags: human trafficking, prostitution laws, violence against women
Author: Chair of the Human Trafficking in Canada Working Group (Jennifer Lucking)