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Expert calls for change to sex work laws

Dal prof hails Ontario court decision

by

Elaine Craig
  • Elaine Craig

A professor at the Dal Law School says she’s hoping governments in Canada will finally change laws and regulations to make sex work safer. Elaine Craig was commenting last night on a recent Ontario court decision which declared that federal criminal code provisions governing sex work violate the Charter of Rights.

“A government is not entitled to jeopardize health and safety simply to reduce public nuisance,” Craig told about 100 people at Mount Saint Vincent University during an event co-sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs. “Public nuisance doesn’t outweigh the brutalization and rape and murder of sex workers.”

In November, a Coast news feature reported that sex workers in Halifax routinely face violence and 17 have gone missing or been murdered since 1985. StatsCan homicide figures, cited in the Ontario court ruling, show that between 1996 and 2006, an average of seven prostitutes were killed each year in Canada.

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