Canada

Canada: Pass legislation to prevent the sexual exploitation of women & girls

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2014 Apr 14

23 JUNE 2014 UPDATE: On 16 June, the government’s bill reforming Canada’s prostitution laws passed its second reading in the House of Commons and was referred to the Justice Committee (note: bills must undergo three readings and a committee stage in the House of Commons and also pass in the Senate, and then receive Royal Assent before becoming law). The Committee will meet the week of 7 July to hear testimony on the bill. This will be a good opportunity for the bill to be amended to truly protect the human rights of people in prostitution.

What You Can Do: 

TAKE ACTION NOW! << Click on this link to send all letters below online.

Please join Equality Now and our Canadian partners EVE, Sextrade101, and the London Abused Women’s Centre in calling on the government to enact legislation in line with the Nordic Model that will protect the human rights of people in prostitution while preventing future exploitation in the commercial sex industry.

Letters should go to:

The Honourable Peter MacKay
Minister of Justice
509s Center Block
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0A6
peter.mackay@parl.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-992-6022
Fax: 613-992-2337
Twitter: @MinPeterMacKay

Mike Wallace
MP & Committee Chair
Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0A6
Mike.wallace@parl.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-995-0881
Fax: 613-995-1091
Twitter: @MikeWallaceMP

Françoise Boivin
MP & Committee Vice-Chair
Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0A6
Francoise.Boivin@parl.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-992-4351
Fax: 613-992-1037
Twitter: @FBoivinNPD

Sean Casey
MP & Committee Vice-Chair
Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0A6
Sean.Casey@parl.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-996-4714
Fax: 613-995-7685
Twitter: @SeanCaseyMP

Letters: 

Dear Minister/Member of Parliament,

I urge you to listen to the survivors of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation advocating for the Canadian government to pass legislation that criminalizes those who pay for sex acts while decriminalizing and ensuring support for women in prostitution – known as the “Swedish” or “Nordic” model. After the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the prostitution laws as unconstitutional, your government has a vital opportunity to better protect people in prostitution, prevent sex trafficking and promote gender equality by joining other progressive countries that have adopted the Nordic model.

The exploitation of women and girls in the commercial sex industry is a human rights violation and a cause and consequence of gender, racial, ethnic, economic and other inequalities. While precise numbers are difficult to obtain, it is clear that the vast majority of those in prostitution are women, and that many enter as children. In addition, women and girls from marginalized communities are overrepresented. As many women and girls are not in prostitution through choice, but rather lack of choice, people in prostitution must not be criminalized, but instead should have access to comprehensive assistance and services.

The Nordic model has been adopted in Sweden, Norway, and Iceland, and is currently being considered by the parliaments of France, Ireland and Northern Ireland. I join Equality Now, EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating), Sextrade 101 and the London Abused Women’s Centre in calling on the Canadian government to live up to its obligations under international law, including the UN Trafficking Protocol and UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, to address the demand for prostitution that fuels sex trafficking and to protect people in prostitution by passing legislation that:

1.    Decriminalizes people in prostitution (i.e. people selling sex),
2.    Criminalizes those who pay for sex acts, brothel-keepers, pimps and procurers, and
3.    Mandates robust funding for services for people in prostitution, including assistance for those who wish to exit prostitution.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Canada: Saudi Arabian Refugee Fleeing Gender Discrimination Allowed to Remain in Canada

Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
1993 Feb 1

The Saudi Arabian woman known publicly as "Nada," has been authorized by the Canadian Employment and Immigration Minister Bernard Valcourt to request permanent residence status in Canada. Nada arrived in Canada on April 5, 1991 seeking asylum as a refugee on the basis of gender discrimination she faced in her home country. On September 24, 1991 the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board ruled that Nada was not a refugee.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to and/or call Mr. Bernard Valcourt, the Canadian Employment and Immigration Minister, welcoming his intervention on behalf of Nada and his broader efforts to address the issue of refugee status on grounds of gender discrimination. Letters, faxes, and telephone calls should be directed to:

The Honorable Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Employment and Immigration
140 Promenade du Portage, Phase IV, 14th Floor
Hull, Québec, K1A 0J9
Canada
Telephone: 819-994-2482
Fax: 819-994-0448

Canada: Saudi Arabian Refugee Fleeing Gender Discrimination Not Welcome in Canada

Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
1992 Oct 1

The Saudi Arabian refugee known publicly as "Nada" arrived in Canada on April 5, 1991 seeking asylum as a refugee on the basis of gender discrimination she faced in her home country of Saudi Arabia. Despite the violence suffered by Nada in Saudi Arabia for her defiance of institutionalized gender discrimination, Nada's request for asylum has been denied by the Canadian Government.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to and/or call Mr. Bernard Valcourt, the Canadian Employment and Immigration Minister, and ask him to intervene on behalf of Nada to prevent her deportation to Saudi Arabia and to allow her to remain in Canada. Remind him that Canada holds itself out to the world as a leader in the promotion of gender equality and that the deportation of Nada and the remarks made by Commissioner Louis Dorion in his decision are inconsistent with Canadian obligations under international law and with the spirit of gender equality enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Human Rights. You may also wish to contact the Canadian Embassy in your country and convey your sentiments about this case to them. Please also contact your local media and ask them to publicize the plight of Nada. Letters, faxes, and telephone calls should be directed to:

The Honorable Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Employment and Immigration
140 Promenade du Portage, Phase IV, 14th Floor
Hull, Québec, K1A 0J9
Canada
Telephone: 819-994-2482
Fax: 819-994-0448

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