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Stop Prostitution

Ontario Court of Appeal greenlights brothels, sweeps aside many of Canada’s anti-prostitution laws

TORONTO – The Court of Appeal for Ontario has swept aside some of the country’s anti-prostitution laws saying they place unconstitutional restrictions on prostitutes’ ability to protect themselves.

The landmark decision means sex workers will be able to hire drivers, bodyguards and support staff and work indoors in organized brothels or “bawdy houses,” while “exploitation” by pimps remains illegal.

However, openly soliciting customers on the street remains prohibited with the judges deeming that “a reasonable limit on the right to freedom of expression.”

The province’s highest court suspended the immediate implementation of striking the bawdy house law for a year to allow the government an opportunity to amend the Criminal Code.

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Judges to release landmark prostitution ruling

TORONTO -- A landmark court ruling comes down Monday that could drastically alter prostitution laws in Ontario and potentially Canada.

A five-judge panel on the Ontario Court of Appeal will announce its decision to either uphold or reverse a September 2010 ruling by Ontario Superior Court Judge Susan Himel that struck down three prostitution laws in the Criminal Code, declaring them unconstitutional because they put the safety of sex workers at risk.

Himel struck down the laws that criminalize pimping, operating a bawdy house and communicating for the purposes of prostitution, basing her decision on a conclusion that the laws, while generally seen as there for the protection of sex workers, actually endanger them by forcing them to ply their trade in insecure locations, such as the street, and engage in cash-for-sex transactions in risky and isolated places.

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