Countries around the world do not have proper legislation on prostitution that defends sex workers’ rights.
In a case brought by three sex workers, the Supreme Court of Canada, in December 2013, struck down three provisions of the Canadian prostitution law, because they violated sex workers’ human and “constitutional right to security of the person” by imposing “dangerous conditions on prostitution”. In June 2014, the Canadian government introduced a new prostitution law, Bill C-36 “Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act”, which entered into force on December 5.
While the Supreme Court had created the space for a radical change in the approach to sex work by reaffirming that human and constitutional rights apply to sex workers too, democratic procedures in Canada seem to have failed sex workers. The Canadian Pivot Legal Society argues that Bill C-36 has been “consistently misrepresented” and that it “will result in sweeping criminalisation of the sex industry”, including sex workers themselves. Others have called it a “hate law”, because the safety and security of sex workers was, in fact, not the priority for some who voted for the Bill C-36. One of the Senators, Donald Plett,clearly stated his priority in this regard: “We don’t want to make life safe for prostitutes; we want to do away with prostitution.”