Posts Tagged ‘Prostitution’

Supreme Court ruling stirs national debate on sex work

January 6th, 2014 by Priya Sarin

On December 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision on Canada’s prostitution laws (Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford). This decision represents a huge victory for Canada’s sex workers by recognizing that the existing legal framework increases the risk of harm to the lives and safety of individuals working in the industry. The decision has, however, quickly become controversial with anti-prostitution advocates vigorously arguing that the Court has effectively endorsed the exploitation of women. This criticism is misdirected because the Bedford decision is not about whether prostitution should be legal in Canada — prostitution has always been legal here. If you don’t like it, complain to Parliament.


Upholding the rights of marginalized groups through public interest litigation

February 28th, 2013 by Shelina Ali

Canada’s human rights record has come under fire over the past several months. In December of 2012, Amnesty International released a highly critical report of the state of human rights in Canada. The report details abuses against vulnerable groups in Canada including indigenous peoples, women, migrant workers and refugees.

Amnesty International notes in its report that “support for strong advocacy and diverse, including dissenting, views in debates and discussion of important public policy issues is being dramatically undermined and rapidly dismantled [in Canada].

This month, Human Rights Watch published a report detailing police abuses against indigenous women and girls in Northern British Columbia. The report found that Canada was not meeting its obligations under international law to address violence against indigenous women and girls.

With the Canadian government under fire for failing in protecting and promoting fundamental human rights in Canada, are there legal avenues that may be available to uphold the rights of marginalized persons, rights enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?