Updates on Sex Work Industry Worldwide

We applaud the legislatures of Canada and Ireland for their new laws that respectively target the demand for prostitution or buyers of sex, and decriminalize prostituted individuals. Last November the Irish Cabinet passed the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill of 2014 that criminalizes the purchase of sex, while strengthening Irish laws against sexual grooming, child pornography and harassment. The law was to come into effect on January 1, 2015.

The government of Canada enacted the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, known as Bill C-36, which also holds accountable the buyers of sex, as well as any third party activity that benefits from commercial sexual exploitation. The law was to come into force on December 6, 2014, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. The legislation also mandates help for victims who wish to leave the sex trade. We hope this signals a global trend! Other countries currently deliberating demand-focused legislation include France, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and Israel.  They follow in the footsteps of Sweden, Norway and Iceland, which passed a set of laws, known as the “Nordic Model” that penalizes the purchase of sex, exempts prostituted individuals from punishment and recognizes prostitution as a cause and consequence of gender violence and discrimination.