Viviane Namaste, a professor at Concordia University's Simone de Beauvoir Institute, spoke today as an official intervenor at the Supreme Court of Canada's hearing on sex work.
Namaste argued Thursday morning on Daybreak that the current laws can actually result in an increase in violence against sex workers.
"They create conditions where women can't talk openly about sex," she said.
Diane Matte is from a anti-sexual exploitation group called CLES that is part of a coalition of six other groups opposed to legalization. The coalition was also given official intervenor status.
She said prostitution and sexual exploitation are, in most cases, one in the same.
"Whether you call yourself a feminist or not, if you do not look at women's oppression as being part of the institution of prostitution, then you're totally missing the point," she told Daybreak host Mike Finnerty.
A Supreme Court decision on the issue is expected to be reached between six and 12 months from now.
Listen to Thursday morning's full debate here: