New prostitution law must target johns, Edmonton group says

An Edmonton group that works with prostitutes says its disappointed with today's Supreme Court of Canada decision striking down the country's prostitution laws.

Vulnerable women remain at risk after SCOC strikes down prostition law

Kate Quinn, with the anti-prostitution group CEASE, says any new law must target johns. The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the country's prostitution laws this morning. (CBC)

An Edmonton group that works with prostitutes says it's disappointed with today's Supreme Court of Canada decision striking down the country's prostitution laws.

Kate Quinn, executive director of The Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation, or CEASE, says the ruling does little to protect vulnerable women.

In the landmark decision, the court stated the current laws deprive prostitutes of "security of the person," but Quinn says that striking down the law won't improve the safety of prostitutes.

"There's a myth, an assumption that everybody wants to be selling their bodies," Quinn said. "If you believe that myth, of course, you're going to create a brothel or bawdy house or operate out of your own apartment."

Quinn said Canada needs new laws, which the Supreme Court ruling now makes possible. She'd like to see laws targeting the men who buy the services of prostitutes instead.

"We're making it safer for men to buy sex; we're making it safer for pimps and traffickers to profit from the sale of sex," she said. "That's what this vacuum leaves us in. We feel that any laws in Canada need to be rooted in social justice."

The federal government has a year to draft new legislation or set the issue aside entirely.

With files from CBC's Trisha Estabrooks

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