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Welcome to REED! As you explore this site you will learn more about the root causes of trafficking, the work of REED, and how you can be part of a positive solution to sexual exploitation. We invite you to get involved and take action.

 

WOMEN'S CRISIS LINE:  604-753-9929

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News + Events

Letter to Suzanne Anton, Minister of Justice


Hold government accountable to enact new law against sex exploitation.

 

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Sign and date the letter below to urge Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton to call all the municipalities to implement and enforce the new legislation.  Let's hold sex buyers and others who benefit from sex exploitation accountable.

 

 

Honourable Suzanne Anton, MLA

Minister of Justice

Room 22

Parliament Buildings

Victoria, BC V8V 1X4


Dear Minister Anton:


On December 6, 2014, the government of Canada enacted the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (known as Bill C-36), which holds the buyers of sex accountable, as well as any third party who benefits from commercial sexual exploitation. With this legislation, Canada joined a third party who benefits from commercial sexual exploitation. With this legislation, Canada joined a number of countries that have already enacted similar legislation (Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Ireland) and a growing number of other countries currently deliberating demand-focused legislation that will make the buying of sexual services illegal: France, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Israel.


Some Canadian provinces and municipalities have stepped forward, using the powers and resources under their jurisdiction to put an end to sex trafficking in Canada. On January 21, 2015, Hamilton police laid charges under this new prostitution law. (Hamilton News, Hamilton, Ontario; January 21,2-15; Shioina Thompson, Hamilton Police Law Charges under New Prostitution Law)


Unfortunately, some other jurisdiction and organizations, including the Vancouver Police Department, the Victoria Police Department, Georgia Straight, and some libraries, have voiced their non-compliance with this new law (Globe and Mail, Vancouver, BC, December 5, 2014, Wanyee Li, Vancouver Police to Prioritize Safety Over Anti-Prostitution Laws; Georgia Straight, Vancouver, BC, November 26, 2014, Carlito Pablo, Canada’s New Prostitution Law Won’t Change Policing Priorities in Vancouver; The Province, Victoria, BC, December 9, 2014, Sarah Pretrescu, New federal prostitution law have Victoria sex trade workers on edge).


We urge you, as Attorney General of BC in charge of the Criminal Justice Branch, to assure the citizens of BC that this law will be implemented and enforced in our province. It is only when all levels of government at the federal, provincial and municipal levels collaborate and work together that the lives of hundreds of women, youth and children will receive the protection that they deserve. We count on you to continue the efforts of many in Canada to strengthen our comprehensive strategy to end sex trafficking in Canada.


Sincerely,

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Women Rising Bursary


REED is excited to announce a new scholarship for Aboriginal women who have a history of sexual exploitation to increase their education.  The purpose is to assist Aboriginal women to escape the cycle of abuse by furthering their employment possibilities.  The scholarship will be awarded annually to any qualifying Aboriginal woman who needs assistance with books, supplies, tuition, transportation, etc. to attend a course or workshop to advance her learning.  If you think you or someone you know might qualify, please email info@embracedignity.org or call at 604.753.9929.



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Bill C-36, the Canadian Government's Prostitution Bill that Penalizes Sex Buyers, Passes in House of Commons


 

On Monday, October 6 the Canadian government's prostitution bill, Bill C-36, passed in the House of Commons by a 156-124 vote.

 

In 2007, a case challenging Canada's prostitution laws as unconstitutional resulted in the Supreme Court of Canada scrapping the laws criminalizing pimping, communicating for the purposes of prostitution, and running a brothel. The federal government was therefore tasked with coming up with new laws.

 

The new legislation, brought forth in June by Justice Minister Peter McKay, explicitly names pimps and johns as exploiters, criminalizing the purchase of sex while decriminalizing prostituted women.

 

The bill states that the Parliament of Canada "has grave concerns about the exploitation that is inherent in prostitution and the risks of violence posed to those who engage in it" and "recognizes the social harm caused by the objectifcation of the human body and the commodification of sexual activity."

 

The intention behind this kind of legislation is to work towards an eventual end to prostitution and follows in the footsteps of countries like Sweden, Norway and Iceland. The EU passed a resolution last year encouraging member states to "reevaluate their policies on sex work," with the Nordic Model as a framework.

 

The bill now goes to Senate and will then very likely be made into law. The anticipated adoption of this bill is due to the hard work of people who have applied a gendered analysis to prostitution, prayed for justice to be done, dared to challenge those who profit from the sale of women's bodies, and testified from their own experience in the sex industry.

 

This legislation represents a new approach to prostitution that says men do not have the right for paid access to women's bodies, women deserve more than prostitution, prostitution does not promote gender equality, and that we can - and did - ask for more women.

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