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Outgoing Letters and Public Statements

March 21, 2014

RE: Flawed report could be basis for Tories’ new prostitution law, March 20, 2014

To the editor of The National Post,

In the several years I have been researching the issue of prostitution in Canada and abroad, I have read criticisms and opinion pieces that deny the effectiveness of the Nordic model of law and policy on prostitution. I have yet to see a substantiated study or report that does so credibly.

Ivison’s main critique of MP Joy Smith’s report The Tipping Point is that it ‘conflates prostitution with human trafficking.’ While it is true that not all women in prostitution are victims of trafficking, there are two important truths that are relevant. First, the vast majority of women in prostitution are not there by choice; or where a choice was made it was constrained, influenced by factors such as extreme poverty and a history of sexual abuse. Second, the end point to most incidences of human trafficking – including in Canada, according to RCMP reports – is sexual exploitation. These realities have been demonstrated by social studies, in reports from Canadian and foreign law enforcement, and corroborated by survivor organizations.

Studies in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand have shown that when prostitution is legalized or decriminalized, rates of trafficking of women and children increase. These very real links between prostitution and trafficking must be considered when determining Canada’s new prostitution laws. 

Mrs. Smith is not alone in advocating for an end to prostitution. She stands among an otherwise unusual network of hundreds of survivor organizations, women’s groups, native women’s organizations, front-line service providers, police associations, feminist groups and faith-based organizations such as ours. Together, we are calling for a model of law that targets the sex buyers and perpetrators of prostitution – the men who put women there and who keep them there – with the goal of ending sexual exploitation by going after the demand for paid sex.


Julia Beazley, Policy Analyst
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada


Outgoing Letters


EFC President Bruce J. Clemenger writes regular commentaries about public policy issues. The EFC magazine Faith Today often publishes articles and essays that examine such issues.

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