How Is The Increased Criminalization Of Women In Prostitution ‘Protecting’ Them?

Jan 8, 2015
Feminist
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A brief but fine post from KWE Today that confronts the problematic “feminist’ approach to sex work and sex worker agency —

This week we read the R v Hutt decision. Hutt is a Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision on appeal from the British Columbia Court of Appeal. At all three levels, there was an acquittal. The SCC affirmed the acquittal and quashed the criminal conviction. The charges were in contravention to section 195.1 of the Criminal Code. This section relates to the act of solicitation.

The issue at the SCC level was determining what constitutes an act of solicitation, which is the criminalized act or the prohibited act in question. The SCC found that the definition of solicitation referred to something more than an “intention to make herself [Hutt] available for prostitution.” The SCC defined “something more” as pressing or persistent. As a result and based on the facts, the SCC ruled that Hutt’s actions did not translate into pressing or persistent actions with an intention to make herself available for prostitution.

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For this journal, I want to highlight a major issue with criminalizing prostitution related offenses…. Bill C-36 is in response to the Bedford decision which was also a SCC decision. The Bedford decision ruled three sections of Canada’s anti-prostitution laws as unconstitutional. However, it did not rule all sections of Canada’s anti-prostitution laws as unconstitutional. Bill C-36, which is entitled The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, is expected to pass without any changes (the bill passed with only relatively minor changes, not including changes to the communication provision).

Keep reading…

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