While every country has a responsibility to fight sex trafficking they each face a set of particular challenges in their own context. We invite you to think about several issues facing Canada as we seek to eradicate sex trafficking.
Demand for Paid Sex
The very workings of human trafficking are a market-based model of supply and demand. There is an uncontrolled male demand for sexual access to the bodies of women (and children) and the supply for this demand is met through violating the dignity of women. It is our conviction that in order to stem the tide of human trafficking we must end the demand for paid sex. Demand flourishes in an atmosphere of anonymity.
"Comparing Sex Buyers With Men Who Don't Buy Sex: 'You can have a good time with the servitude vs. 'You're supporting a system of degradation'." - Melissa Farley and other researchers
"It's Just Like Going to the Supermarket." - Report from CWASU
"Faster, Higher, Stronger" - Trafficking and the 2010 Oympic Games
Excellent report from the UK on men who buy sex
Also see Human Trafficking section.
Normalization of Prostitution/Sex Industry
Prostitution is inherently violent and involves the systematic exploitation of women. Canada is currently facing a move by sex industry advocates to fully decriminalize prostitution (tantamount to legalization). This misguided effort would be a gift to traffickers and pimps as they would be able to operate with impunity and expand their lucrative exploitative activities under the guise of valid businesses. Every country that has fully legalized/decriminalized prostitution has experienced a dramatic increase in underground prostitution and sex trafficking. REED supports the decriminalization of prostituted women but the criminalization of those who exploit them. We support prostituted women but not prostitution. REED advocates the model enacted by Sweden where they criminalized the purchasing of sex, educate the public about prostitution as violence against women, and create accessible exit programs for prostituted women. (“Sweden” file)
"Prostitution: Violating the Human Rights of Poor Women" - Shelagh Day
Protection for Trafficked Persons
Canada currently has no legislated protection for trafficked women. So far we have taken an approach that criminalizes the traffickers but does not offer any legislated protection for trafficked persons nor a route to permanent protection. Trafficked persons may access a Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) but this has high barriers and is very rarely granted.