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Letter to My MP: "Human Trafficking: Bill C-310, Ontario's Ruling on Prostitution"

April 1, 2012

Hon. Carolyn Bennett
House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6

Dear Ms. Bennett,

In light of the recent court decision handed down in Ontario regarding the legalization of prostitution behind closed doors as well as the NDP's delay of Bill C-310, I am urging you as my representative in Ottawa to amend the Criminal Code by rewriting our prostitution laws in a way that criminalize johns (sex buyers) and pimps, and decriminalize the person being sold.

I strongly believe it is a misguided notion that legalizing prostitution protects women. The law does not harm women, but rather the men who are buying and raping them; we must take a firm stand against the demand for paid sexual access to the bodies of women and children. Legalized prostitution protects these very men and legitimates the buying of sex which fuels the expansion of the "industry."

Prostitution is systemic violence against women and a major deterrent to women's equality. Canada has a chance to be a world leader in sex equality through clearly naming prostitution as a violation of women's and children's right to safety, and rewriting our laws to reflect this fact. Prostitution cannot be viewed simply as a woman's choice; rather, involvement in the sex trade most frequently represents a lack of choice and opportunity.

As a member of your constituency, I'm asking you to protect vulnerable women and children by rewriting the Criminal Code to criminalize the purchasing of sex and decriminalize the person being sold.

This is the first time I have ever written to my MP; I don't consider myself a particularly politically-active person. But I am shocked by the things I have learned regarding human trafficking and slavery in Canada, and as I've become familiar with the work being done by MP Joy Smith and a network of abolitionists across the country, I've become convicted that when the basic human rights of women, children, and vulnerable people are being compromised in my own city, it is not merely selfish but wrong for me to say nothing.

Michelle Brock, an active abolitionist and personal friend, recently told me that while she and her husband prepared to make a documentary on sex trafficking in Canada, unbeknownst to them or virtually anyone else, victims of human trafficking were locked in a basement on the same street. For me, this story of unavoidable contrast and helplessness turned human trafficking in Canada from a theoretical concept into a concrete reality.

In light of Bill C-310; the Ontario ruling regarding prostitution; the conviction and sentencing of the Hamilton human traffickers; and the horrific atrocities endured by victims of sex trafficking within the borders of Canada and at the hands of Canadians internationally, I ask that you, as my representative in the House of Commons, be informed and present for votes related to human trafficking, particularly those that impact victims in the sex trade. I also ask that you vote in favour of Bill C-310 and against the legalization of prostitution behind closed doors; these votes protect the safety of the victimized and help Canada become a leader in the abolitionist movement.

Yours sincerely,

Elizabeth F.

(my mailing address)


afro-chick said…
i will do the same. so will sami.

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