2/03/2006

Criminal Code of Canada:
Offences Tending to Corrupt Morals and
Our Prostitution Laws

It's amazing what should actually be illegal in Canada.
I decided to look up Canada's Prostitution Laws today, and came across a section of the Criminal Code entitled "Offences Tending to Corrupt Morals." I thought to myself "Wow! We have such laws?"
Then I read them. My eyes popped out of my head! Surely these laws have not been followed, dare I say heard of, in a very long time. In fact, I would be willing to bet that the average citizen does not know of their existence. Technically, all manner of porn should be illegal in Canada. So should all Viagra commercials. I kid you not. Read Section 163-172 for yourself.
After a brief discussion with my husband on just how far Canada has fallen, I moved on to our prostitution laws. The relevant pieces of law can be found in Section 210-213 of the Criminal Code.
I couldn't help but notice that we are missing some sort of meaningful law against pimping and trafficking. Part h of Section 212 is the closest thing. It reads:
for the purposes of gain, exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person in such manner as to show that he is aiding, abetting or compelling that person to engage in or carry on prostitution with any person or generally.
The maximum sentence for violation of section 212 is not to exceed ten years, but we have no minimum sentence. Section 213 relates only to street prostitutes and stopping traffic, but there are no sentences provided at all.
What also concerns me is that the act of prostitution, procuring a prostitute, trafficking, pimping and those who use rape drugs on an individual are all lumped into the same thing. If it is true that some women are forced into prostitution (and we know it does happen) then should there not be stricter sentences for those who pimp, traffick and intoxicate such individuals?
What is even more disturbing is that someone who procures a prostitute who is under 18 years of age must serve at least six months for their crime, but may serve no more than 5 years. This is unacceptable.
I am going to spend some time thinking about what would be a suitable change to these laws. I'll be posting my ideas later on.

5 comments:

Maritime Liberal said...

Legalize prostitution but crack down very hard on pimping and exploitation. I believe the Netherlands unionizes prositutes and requires them all to have regular std checks. Makes sense to me.

Maritime Liberal said...

After double-checking I can't find the Economist article where I believe I saw that. It was from about 4 years ago and was doing a profile of the Netherlands.

Ruth said...

Obviously you did not bother to read the post below this one, or you would not have wqritten this.
Please look here. The article I link to is about the many problems of prostitution on the Netherlands.

Sean J. said...

I remember looking through the criminal code several years ago.

I think I was looking up some random useless fact like laws against caffine in clear soft-drinks.

Anyway,
I too was surprised by how inconsistent the law we practice and the law we have written seem to be.

Legion said...

Your argument against legalizing prostitution is flawed. You point to Holland and say that some women are forced into prostitution. You also assert that women are forced into prostitution here in Canada.

Well if it happens when prostitution is legal and it happens when it's illegal, then the legality of prostitution has nothing to do with it.

Clearly, forcing anyone to commit a sexual act against their will is wrong. But that should have no bearing on consenting adults.

Why should it be illegal for consenting adults to have sex for money? Why do I want to waste my tax dollars keeping people locked up for this?

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