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Protect PCEPA. Don’t Legalize the Sex Trade in Canada

In 2014, Canada passed the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA), which decriminalizes prostituted individuals, who are mostly women, and offers them support services, and targets sex buyers, who are almost unanimously men, for the harm they cause to those in prostitution. 

The goal of PCEPA is to end the commercial sexual exploitation of individuals and protect human rights, especially of women and girls. The law is now under threat.

At their convention in 2018, the Liberal Party passed a resolution calling for the decriminalization of the industry of prostitution and overturn of Canada’s groundbreaking Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA).

This would fully decriminalize the sex trade, not just those being bought for sex, but the entire system of prostitution. Including pimping, brothel owning and sex buying.

It would also spark an increase in sex trafficking, including of minors, to meet the consequent state-sanctioned demand for prostitution. This would also have the effect of making many of Canada’s border towns a haven for sex tourists from the United States and other parts of the world.

Equality Now joined with the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), London Abused Women’s Centre, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter and EVE to call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Indigenous Peoples’ Commission, and the National Women’s Commission of the Liberal Party, and border town officials to ensure that the PCEPA is not only protected but fully implemented, protecting women and girls across Canada and beyond.