I have submitted a post to FunLoveGoodSex (http://www.funlovegoodsex.com/) on the recent decision by the Canadian Supreme Court that struck down the remaining restriction on prostitution in Canada. I won’t regurgitate the case here, as it will (hopefully) appear on FLGS soon, but I did want to raise an issue on this page.
Where should laws on prostitution go in developed, liberal democratic countries? The thrust of the recent decision in Canada is that the approach taken the past 20 years in Canada – making prostitution legal but disallowing many of the activities around prostitution (living off the avails, street solicitation and operating a bawdy house) illegal is not ok.
It is a big No No to allows sex work but them deny sex workers the means to do it safely.
This, to me, makes perfect sense. But it begs the question, for society’s that want to accept people’s right to sell sex, how do they both protect the individuals who choose to practice sex work and protect the rest of society’s right not to have it in their face?
Hmmm. How does society manage an activity that is acceptable, but only with certain protections and conditions? This must have happened before. Oh yeah… it happens ALL THE TIME. It regulates it. Like any commercial enterprise – a restaurant, a doctor’s office or an oil pipeline – you can do it and make money from it but only under the conditions imposed and supervised by a regulating entity designed to protect the public. This can be government (oil pipeline) or a professional body (practice of medicine).
So, seems it might be the right time for Canada to (i) embrace the fact that men and women are allowed to choose to be sex workers and (ii) put the legal structure in place to allow sex workers to be safe and for people who want nothing to do with sex work to be insulated form its effects.