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A central message of the Bible is for God's people to be compassionate, because God has been compassionate to them. In the Old Testament, this is evident in the call to care for the poor, the widow and the orphan. In the New Testament, Jesus calls his followers to love their neighbours as themselves. 

The Issue

People often enter into prostitution as a last resort. It is a dangerous way to earn money due to the risk of violence at the hands of pimps and customers, and the long-term physical effects of sexually transmitted diseases, such as hepatitis and AIDS. Prostitutes who have pimps often are coerced to remain in prostitution.

The Badgley Committee, established by the government in 1980 to study sexual offences against children, reported in 1984 that: "the ingrained pattern of exploitation, disease and violence in the daily lives of juvenile prostitutes is unmistakable...."[1]

Prostitution is dehumanizing. Like pornography, prostitution focuses only on the sexual dimension of human nature to the exclusion of all else, creating a distorted perspective of people, their worth and their proper place in society. Prostitution makes something very intimate, intended for a loving, life-long relationship between husband and wife, into a commercial transaction between strangers.

The preamble of a 1949 UN Convention states, "... prostitution and the accompanying evil of the traffic in persons for the purpose of prostitution are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and endanger the welfare of the individual, the family and the community."[2]

Footnotes: [1] Badgley Committee: Sexual Offences Against Children, Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, 1984, p. 91. [2] UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.

In Rethinking Prostitution in Canada, EFC Policy Analyst Julia Beazley discusses some misconceptions about the issue of prostitution, advocating a different understanding of what is mistakenly termed the world's oldest profession, and suggesting a better, more just way forward.

Issue: Prostitution

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What You Can Do

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Related Issue: Human Trafficking

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