Over the past few weeks, parliamentarians have been debating a significant piece of legislation put forward by the Minister of Justice, the Hon. Peter Mackay.
Bill C-36, The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, is a significant leap forward to keep our communities safe by cracking down on those who fuel the demand for prostitution.
This act would introduce tough actions to crack down on pimps and johns. For the first time in Canadian history, it would make the buying of sex illegal and target the predators who exploit prostituted victims and profit from their exploitation. These measures would also be supported by $20 million in new funding to assist grassroots organizations provide exit strategies for oppressed victims of prostitution.
Member of Parliament, Joy Smith, who recently visited Abbotsford to support local efforts to combat human trafficking and exploitation had this to say about the new legislation:
Bill C-36 marks a profound shift in our understanding of prostitution and has been welcomed by the survivors and the frontline agencies that work with women in prostitution. Our government has made a strong statement that Canada would recognize the harm caused by prostitution with an emphasis on protecting dignity and equality of women and children while targeting the root of prostitution: the demand.
This bill recognizes the social harm caused by the objectification of the human body inherit in prostitution. It is an excellent first step to bring dignity to the exploited and compassion for those who need it most.