Prostitution to progress and become more liberal-minded,

Prostitution is nothing new, although discussions about prostitution and street solicitation tend to bring up strong emotions and opinions.  In my opinion, I believe that violence and exploitation are rampant in this profession and as a result, countless women and children tend to suffer.  I question why the Canadian government does not seem to honestly confront the realities and dangers associated with, and encountered by women within the sex trade market.  However, there seems to be very little consensus as to how governments should monitor or control prostitution and many countries seem to be grappling with the question: what role should they play in regulating it.  In this paper, I will do a comparative analysis of the Swedish and New Zealand models regarding prostitution laws and their approaches to managing prostitution and street solicitation. Although there are significant differences and perhaps little common ground between legislative directions, most governments struggle with the same set of issues (Barnett, L., Casavant, L. & Nicol, L., 2014, p. 2).  On the one hand, there is an attempt to control the exploitation of persons selling sexual services.  As well, there is a focus on health and safety issues.  And thirdly, the aim is to eliminate increased crime in communities where prostitution takes place.  This topic is of interest to me because in Canada there has been a long-standing and intense debate over the role of the Criminal Code in regulating prostitution.  However, as Canada continues to progress and become more liberal-minded, it will be interesting to observe the ways in which the laws on prostitution evolve.  Canada, as well as Sweden, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Denmark, France, and Ireland have adopted the Swedish Model of regulating prostitution (Danna, 2011, p.80).  In this paper, I will argue that there is a great deal of room for improvement within the Swedish model and their legislative approach to prostitution.  I will use the New Zealand model to compare and contrast some of the constructive and advantageous ways prostitution policies and regulations can be modified in ways that protect the dignity, human rights and safety of sex workers.  The definition of prostitution is “the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment” (Meriam Webster dictionary). Generally, the clients in this industry tend to be males and the sex workers are mainly women (Danna, 2011, p.80). The Swedish model criminalizes the exchange of money for sexual services targeting the clients, while the offering of sexual services is decriminalized in hopes of protecting sex workers (Hardy, 2015, p.318). The aim of this model may be to protect sex workers and their rights, but the ultimate goal is to eliminate prostitution and put an end to human trafficking and violence against women (Danna, 2011, p.80).  On the other hand, I believe that the New Zealand model has a lot to offer.  In 2003, for example, New Zealand undertook radical reforms to their prostitution laws that prohibited solicitation (Barnett, L., Casavant, L. & Nicol, L., 2014, p. 3).  Although prostitution was not illegal, due to the surrounding prohibitions, it was almost impossible to buy or sell sexual services and remain within the law.  The 2003 the Prostitution Reform Act was passed and was designed to decriminalize prostitution with the intention of creating safer and healthier environments for persons selling sexual services (Barnett, L., Casavant, L. & Nicol, L., 2014, p. 3).  The model seeks to address sex workers as equals in society and regulates their working conditions as any other ordinary job (Warnock & Wheen, 2012, p. 416). In order to protect sex worker’s rights and freedom of choice, I believe Canada’s prostitution laws are in need of major reforms, especially looking at the ways it can be better regulated treating all workers with equity.  This paper will delineate the pros and cons of the Swedish and New Zealand model and draw conclusions on which is best suited to protecting sex worker’s rights, regulate fair and safe working conditions, prevent violence and exploitation and to ultimately promote a better quality of life for persons engaged in prostitution.

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