Perspectives and information in support of Canada adopting the Nordic Model to address prostitution
Please look for the following articles posted in the dialogue area below:
M.PAULUS : Out of Control. On liberties and criminal developments in the redlight districts of the Federal Republic of Germany. Publié le 2014/05/06 par resources prostitution
By Manfred Paulus, retired detective chief superintendent, Ulm/Danube, June 2013
Open letter calls for Nordic approach to prostitution in Canada
by Staff, Straight.com, Apr 23, 2014
Prostitution laws should follow Nordic model, former sex trade worker says
Activist tells Calgary panel discussion Ottawa's new legislation should criminalize the users CBC News, Feb 28, 2014
Province urges feds to use Nordic model on sex trade Targets pimps, johns rather than workers by Mary Agnes Welch, Winnipeg Free Press, 02/15/2014
French go Nordic on prostitution: new report explains why Australia should be next
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia 2 Dec 2013
Feminist Current 10 myths about prostitution, trafficking and the Nordic model
by Meagan Tyler, Dec 8, 2013
Buying sex should be banned in Australia
by Meagan Tyler, The Conversation, 3 December 2013
The Swedish chapter of Amnesty rejects Amnesty International’s proposal to decriminalise the purchase of sex acts
At its annual meeting in Malmö this weekend, the Swedish section will adopt a clear position against legalizing the prostitution system.
by Erik Magnusson, May 8, 2014
Former President Jimmy Carter Condemns Amnesty International UK Document “Decriminalization of Sex Work” & AI Position that Pimps and Johns Should Be “Free from Government Interference”
by Robin Morgan, April 30, 2014
London’s Police Chief Promotes ‘Nordic Model’ Following Human Trafficking Pilot Project
London, Ontario, Canada / (CFPL AM) AM 980
by Natalie Lovie, April 17, 2014
Academics Voice Support for 'Nordic Model' of Prostitution Open Letter
IB TimesBy Hannah Osborne | IB Times – Feb 26, 2014
Uncovered: Shocking investigation reveals sex trade in girls bought in Romania and sold as prostitutes in Britain
Feb 22, 2014 By Matthew Drake
What is the 'Nordic Model'?
Amnesty branches oppose Amnesty International’s sex industry agenda
NORMAC Spokesperson Matthew Holloway May 10, 2014 Tasmania Times
Attacking the demand for child sex trafficking
by Siddharth Kara
REED postcard campaign to support the Nordic Model in Canada "Canada can do better"
April 23rd 2014
and many more ....
Open letter calls for Nordic approach to prostitution in Canada
by Staff, Straight.com, Apr 23, 2014
Editor's note: The following open letter on the topic of prostitution in Canada has garnered over 800 signatures. It was written in response to another open letter that called for the decriminalization of sex work.
Open letter: 300 researchers call for decriminalization of sex work in Canada
Ottawa eyes Nordic model for prostitution legislation
Right Hon. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister, Leader of the
Conservative Party of Canada,
Mr. Thomas Mulcair, MP, Leader of the Official Opposition, the New
Democratic Party of Canada,
Mr. Justin Trudeau, MP, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada,
Mr. Jean-François Fortin, MP, Interim Leader of the Bloc Québécois,
Ms. Elizabeth May, MP, Leader of the Green Party of Canada
April 23, 2014
Dear Sirs and Madam,
We—the undersigned—are women who work in different capacities to end violence against women and to protect and advance women’s rights to equality. Prostitution is a practice in which women’s subordination to men is inherent and lived out repeatedly. Consequently, we are writing to you today to urge you to support the “Nordic approach” to legislation on prostitution for Canada, because it includes legislation, intensive social supports, and public education strategies, all designed to reduce and eliminate prostitution.
We are aware of the March 27 open letter from the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative at the University of British Columbia (GSHI), which calls for decriminalization of all aspects of prostitution, including buyers and profiteers, on the grounds that this is the only “evidence‑based” policy option.
The use of the term “evidence-based” has become a smear used by those supporting the sex industry to suggest that those who oppose it in the name of women’s equality are arguing from a position of nothing more than anecdote or opinion. The list of signatories implies that only those with formal credentials can “research” or interpret evidence. We reject both of these premises. Evidence about the harms of prostitution is gathered by academic researchers, survivors of prostitution and those working on the front-line. That evidence proves that prostitution is violence against women.
This is not only a dispute about evidence; it is a dispute about goals and principles, and legislators will have to decide carefully which principles they wish to uphold, and which goals they wish to pursue, for women in Canada. The evidence in the same studies and government reports cited in the GHSI letter supports intensive efforts, worldwide, to reduce and eliminate prostitution. All reports and studies on prostitution confirm that, as the Ontario Court of Appeal said in Bedford, “prostitution is inherently dangerous in virtually any circumstance.” Merely attempting to reduce the ancillary dangers of prostitution is an inadequate, and in our view, discriminatory strategy.
The signatories to the GHSI letter believe that prostitution, or ‘sex work’, is sex between consenting adults; that a bright line can be drawn between ‘sex work’ and trafficking and child prostitution; and that a harm reduction strategy is all that is necessary to moderate the worst effects of the commercial sex industry. We believe that prostitution constitutes violence against women because it is a practice of subordination and exploitation that is gendered, raced, and classed; that, as the Supreme Court of Canada found in Bedford, most women cannot be said to choose prostitution, and consequently, in the experience of women, any line between prostitution, trafficking and child prostitution is more artificial than real. Therefore, we believe that a strategy that affirms the human dignity of women and girls is essential and the only approach consistent with Canada’s principles of equality.
A Women’s Equality Framework
First of all, any new approach to prostitution must be set in a women’s equality framework and reflect the fact that equality for women is a fundamental principle of Canadian law, enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and set out in human rights legislation that governs employment and services in all jurisdictions in the country. Prostitution is a social institution that both manifests and embeds the inequality between women and men, perpetuating women’s subordination to men, and their status as sexual commodities for men’s use. In Canada, as elsewhere, men are overwhelmingly buyers and women are the ones being sold. It is not sufficient in the face of these facts to take an approach that might merely reduce the harms that surround prostitution, when prostitution itself is a reinforcement of women’s subordination.
Further, the evidence is clear, including in affidavits filed by both the claimants and the defendants in the Bedford case, that women enter into prostitution because of economic need and profound social disadvantage. As it makes no sense to penalize women for their sexual, social, and economic inequality, we endorse the legislative approach of the Nordic model, that is, to decriminalize those—usually women— who are being bought and sold, but to apply criminal sanctions to buyers, pimps, and those who profit from the sale of women’s bodies. The criminal law by itself is not a solution to the inequality problem that prostitution represents, but it is essential, in our view, that the criminal law convey a clear message about women’s equality in Canada: in this case, the message that men’s purchase of sex is an egregious and impermissible violation of equality rights.
Who is in Prostitution?
Most women in prostitution in Canada are there because of poverty, homelessness, addictions, lack of social supports, racism, and the many harsh impacts of colonialism on Aboriginal communities and families. Aboriginal women and girls are disproportionately represented in street prostitution and among women in prostitution who have been murdered. In British Columbia, as the Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution (AWCEP) has documented, Asian women are disproportionately represented in indoor prostitution, in venues such as massage parlours, where they are advertised to clients as ‘exotic.’ Many women enter prostitution as children; many have histories of child sexual abuse. Most say they would leave prostitution if they could.
These are well‑established facts. Prostitution is evidence of, and entrenches, sex, race, and class hierarchies. In the face of this, it is wholly inaccurate to call prostitution sex between consenting adults or to explain women’s presence in prostitution as choice, when the choice of women to be in prostitution, or to leave it, is so heavily constrained. Prostitution for poor, racialized women in Canada cannot be called liberty.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) has made a public call for help to stop the buying and pimping of Aboriginal women, and to stop the poverty and abuse that funnels them into prostitution. NWAC has said that its goal is to “end the prostitution of women and girls through legal and public policy measures that recognize the state’s obligations to 1) provide for basic needs and 2) protect women and girls from male violence.”
The Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution (AWCEP) makes the same call. We support NWAC and AWCEP and join our voices to theirs.It is apparent from the facts about women in prostitution that concerted and comprehensive social program intervention is required to prevent women and girls from entering prostitution and to assist them to leave it. Well‑designed interventions by Canada’s governments, with long‑term commitments to address the social and economic disadvantage of women and girls, and particularly of Aboriginal and other racialized women and girls, will be needed, not just piecemeal short‑term exit services, drop‑in centers, or safe houses. Creating conditions that minimize the risk of women entering prostitution, and genuinely helping them to leave it, requires providing women and girls with adequate alternative sources of income, including social assistance sufficient to meet basic needs, adequate housing, access to all levels of education, decent work, child care, and counseling, addiction, and mental health services.
On this point too we find the Nordic model helpful, because it is clear that criminal law, by itself, is not a sufficient solution to the profound inequality that prostitution represents. Genuine programmatic and budgetary commitments by governments are also necessary to address the deeply rooted social and economic disadvantages of women and the history of sexism, racism, and colonialism that underlie prostitution.
Why Canada Should Not Legalize Buying, Pimping and Profiting
Legalizing or decriminalizing prostitution has been tried in the Netherlands, Germany, the state of Nevada, some states in Australia, and New Zealand. Such an approach means that governments and societies accept that there is an underclass of women (defined by some combination of poverty, race and addiction) who can continue to be exploited in prostitution, even though prostitution is inherently an institution of sex inequality and violence. We do not agree that prostitution is acceptable for any women, or that the goal of equality between women and men can be abandoned for some women.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) flatly rejects the prospect of indoor prostitution in legalized brothels as an advance for Aboriginal women and girls. They point out that Aboriginal women and girls who are in street prostitution are unlikely to move indoors because poverty and racism keep them in the most dangerous forms of prostitution. Even if this were not the case, NWAC finds that, over time, Aboriginal women and girls have been shifted from institution to institution by settler governments—residential schools, group homes, prisons. The brothel appears to be the most recent institution that is considered better and safer for Aboriginal women. But this is not equality for Aboriginal women and girls. As AWCEP knows from the experience of its members, indoor prostitution is no answer; it merely puts hard walls around the inequality of poor and racialized women, and leaves it unchanged.
Further, legalization and decriminalization, as an approach, renders the men who are buyers, pimps, and prostitution entrepreneurs invisible; their activities become protected, legal, and normalized.
We believe that this is a wrong approach: men must be held accountable when they subordinate and exploit women. Equality for women cannot be achieved in Canada if we are unwilling to engage with the cruel reality that men exploit women in prostitution. Even within the limited goal that legalization sets for itself – i.e., to reduce the harms that surround prostitution – the evidence does not show that it has succeeded. The most recent comprehensive study of prostitution and trafficking in one hundred and fifty countries finds that countries that have legalized prostitution show an increased inflow of trafficked persons, and growth in the size of the prostitution industry. Government reports from Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand say that street prostitution persists, and that there is little improvement in the conditions of women in prostitution. The violence inherent in prostitution is accepted by legalization, and the violence regularly associated with prostitution does not disappear.
In addition, what is legalized and normalized is not just individual prostitution transactions, but the prostitution industry. It not only becomes legal for individual men to purchase access to women’s bodies, but also legal to own and run a business that sells access to women’s bodies, or for employers in isolated work locations to provide men access to women for sex as an aspect of employment. For Canada to take this step would be both dangerous and discriminatory.
Where Should Canada Stand?
Canada has a history of commitment to women’s equality, to racial equality, and to vigorous social programs as a means of creating a more egalitarian society in which the basic needs of all Canadians are met. In addition the rights of Aboriginal peoples, and of Aboriginal women to live free from violence, are set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, recently endorsed by Canada. Consistent with Canada’s long‑standing commitments to equality, we urge you now to support a Nordic‑model approach to new legislative, programmatic, and public education strategies to reduce and eliminate prostitution in Canada.
We do not accept prostitution as a solution to women’s poverty; we want something much better for Canada’s poor and racialized women and girls. We believe you do too, and we urge you to act on your commitments to women and to an egalitarian Canada.
List of Signatories
Hamai Abdiwahabu - Bénévole GAP, Chateauguay, QC, Canada
Saadatou Abdoulkarim - Militante féministe, QC, Canada
Esohe Aghatise - Executive Director, Associazione Iroko Onlus,
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Torino, Italy
Ti-Grace Atkinson - Radical feminist, Cambridge, MA, United States
Michele Audette – President, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Cenen M. Bagon - Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights, Vancouver, BC, Cana
Jane Bailey - B.A.S., M.I.R., LL.B., LL.M. Associate Professor, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Grace Balbutin - Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, Canada
Sheila Ballantyne - PhD candidate, Mining Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Kat Banyard - UK Feminista, United Kingdom
Trisha Baptie - Formerly Exploited Voices Now Educating, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Kathleen Barry - Ph.D. Sociologist, Professor Emerita, Author of: Female Sexual Slavery and Prostitution of Sexuality: Global Exploitation of Women, United States
Suzanne Baustad - Immigration and Refugee Law Paralegal, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Professor Louise Bélanger Hardy LL.B., LL.M. – University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Ijose Aghatise - Ospedale Amedeo di Savoia, Turin, Italy
Roseline Iroghama Aghatise - Iroko Charity Organisation, Nigeria
Isoken Aikpitanyi - Sex Trafficking Survivor and co founder of Associazione Ragazze di Benin City, Italy
Dr. Ochuko Ajari - Boston, MA, United States
Soerette Alexandre - Mémorante en linguistique, Militante féministe, Haïti
Geneviève Allard - Scientfique en environnement, Rimouski, QC, Canada
Jess Alley - TDEV Concordia University, Montreal QC, Canada
Gwendoline Allison - Foy Allison Law Group, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Gisèle Ampleman - Membre du comité québécois de conscientisation, QC, Canada
Rachel Ariey-Jouglard - Gatineau, QC, Canada
Margaretha Aronson - Member of Fredrika Bremer Förbundet, Sweden
Association Femmes pour le Dire, Femmes pour Agir, France
Gertrud Åström - President, the Swedish Women's Lobby
Kelsey Atkinson - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Nancy Aubé - Intervenante, Rouyn-Noranda, PQ, Canada
Professor Constance Backhouse - B.A., LL.B., LL.M., LL.D. (HonsLSUC), LL.D. (Hons U Man), Distinguished University Professor and University Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Roxanne Badger - Bénévole GAP, Chateaugay, QC, Canada
Iliana Balabanova-Stoicheva - Coordinator of Bulgarian Women's Lobby, Bulgaria
Ilaria Baldini - Resistenza femminista, Italy
Gabriela Delgado Ballesteros - Investigadora, Programa Universitario Derechos Humanos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Ixtlan Pax Ballesteros - Azusa, CA, United States
Jose Krisanto Ballesteros - Manila, Philippines
Pauline Ballesteros - Azusa, CA, United States
Paula Barber - Toronto, ON, Canada
Pauline Baril - Montréal, QC, Canada
Sharon Barnes - Student, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Cassandra Barnaby - Reception, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Claudette Bastien - Présidente du Comité d’action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale, Infirmière semi-retraitée, Montréal, QC, Canada
Brigitte Martel Baussant - Secrétaire générale de la Coordination française pour le lobby européen des femmes
Rosalyn Baxandall - Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, SUNY, Old Westbury (now CUNY Labor School), NY, United States
Rose Beatty - Member of University Women’s Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Huguette Beauchamp, S.M. - Travailleuse sociale retraitée mais secrétaire au conseil général des srs. De miséricorde, QC, Canada
Julie Béchard - Centre Passerelle, Timmins, ON, Canada
Carole Bédard - QC, Canada
Hélène Bédard - QC, Canada
Louise Bégin - Montréal, QC, Canada
Claire Bélanger - Saint-Nicolas, QC, Canada
Josée Bélisle - Intervenante communautaire, Amos, QC, Canada
Janine Benedet - LLB, LLM, SJD, Associate professor of Law, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Sophie Bennett - UK Feminista, United Kingdon
Christine Bickson - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Taina Bien Aime - Executive Director, Coalition Against the Trafficking in Women
Geneva Biggers - Women’s peer support group member, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Rebecca Bishop - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Cécile Bisson – QC, Canada
Mary-Lee Bouma - Resist Exploitation, Embrace Dignity (REED), Vancouver, BC,
Axelle Beniey - coordinatrice de projet, Guadeloupe
Annette Benoit - Montréal, QC, Canada
Josée Benoit - survivante et militante, Malartic, QC, Canada
Sarah Benson - Chief Executive Officer, Ruhama: Frontline service to women affected by prostitution and sex trafficking, Ireland
Summer-Rain Bentham - Squamish Nation, Front line anti-violence worker, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, BC, Canada
Kristen Berg - Equality Now, New York, NY, United States
Samantha Berg - Journalist and organizer, Johnstompers.com, Portland, OR, United States
Marina Bergadano - Law Offices, Marina Bergadano & Co., Turin, Italy
Catie Bergeron – intervenante, CALACS, Charlevoix, QC, Canada
Jocelyne Bernatchez - Directrice des ventes, Amos, QC, Canada
Nicole Bernier - Animatrice provinciale, QC, Canada
Helene Berry - RN, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Julie Bindel - Journalist, author and feminist campaigner, United Kingdom
Lucie Bilodeau - Aide-jardinière, Ste-Christine, QC, Canada
Francine Blais - Retraitée en Service social et à mi-temps, coordonnatrice des Ami-e-s de la Famille Internationale de la Miséricorde, Montréal, QC, Canada
Nadine Blais - Enseignante au cégep de l'Outaouais, Travailleuse sociale de formation (niveau maitrise), Gatineau, QC, Canada
Stassy Blais - Étudiante en technique de travail social, Amos, QC, Canada
Annie Blouin - Intervenante sociale au CALACS, Granby, QC, Canada
Linda Boisclair - Responsable du comité de la condition féminine du Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain-CSN, Longueuil, QC, Canada
Pierrette Boissé - Responsable du dossier sur la traite humaine à la Congrégation de Notre-Dame, Montréal, QC, Canada
Gabrielle Boissonneault - Intervenante, Rouyn-Noranda, PQ, Canada
Annick Boissonneault - travailleuse sociale, Val d'Or, QC, Canada
Sophie Bolduc - Stagiaire au CALCS de Chateauguay, Montréal, QC, Canada=
Antonia Bonito - Turin Municipality Police Force, Turin, Italy
Bernard Bosc - Réseau féministe “Ruptures”, QC, Canada
Claudia Bouchard - travaille au quotidien avec des femmes qui ont été dans la prostitution, Montréal, QC, Canada
Diane Bouchard - Retraitée, Charlevoix, QC, Canada
France Boucher - Avocate et chargée de cours à l’UQAM, Montréal, QC, Canada
Boucher, Mahara - ASETS Adminstrative Assistant, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Nadjet Bouda - Responsable administrative à la Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle, Étudiante à la maitrise en science politique à l’UQAM, Montréal, QC, Canada
Claudie Bougon-Guibert - Conseil national des femmes françaises
Carole Boulebsol - Sociologue Ma., Montréal, QC, Canada
Ginette Bourdon - Infirmière retraitée, Brossard, QC, Canada
Jeannine Bourget - Animatrice, Montréal, QC, Canada
Nadine Bouteilly-Dupont - President, Libres Mariannes, LMS, Member of the European Women Lobby
Lise Bouvet - Gender Studies Researcher, Switzerland
Susan B. Boyd - F.R.S.C. Professor, Chair in Feminist Legal Studies Faculty of Law at Allard Hall, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Christine Boyle - Professor Emeritus States, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Valérie Brancquart - Québec, QC, Canada
Elizabeth Briemberg - Retired Supreme Court of BC Family Conciliator, Burnaby, BC, Canada
Pascale Brosseau - Intervenante, Lévis, QC, Canada
Twiss Butler - Member Abolish Prostitution Now Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW International), National Organization for Women, United States
Serena Caldarone - Resistenza Femminista, Italy
Annie Campbell - Director, Women’s Aid Federation, Northern Ireland
Chiara Carpita - Resistenza femminista, Italy
Francesca Carpita - Italy
Melina Caudo - Executive Director, Associazione Progettarsì, Turin, Italy
Martha Centola - Vice President, Associazione Iroko Onlus, Turin, Italy
Karen Cody - President of the Board of Directors for The Organization for Prostitution Survivors, Seattle, WA, United States
Mylène Collin - Intervenante, Québec, QC, Canada
Jennifer Conkie - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Lynda Coplin - retired teacher, Surrey, BC, Canada
Kelly Coulter - Drug Policy Advocate, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Larissa Crack - Northern Women's Connection, Canada
Mary DeFusco - Esq. Director of Training and Recruitment, Defender Association of Philadelphia, United States
Anastasia DeRosa - Front line crisis worker, Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter, BC, Canada
Francine Descarries - Ph.D, Professeure et Directrice scientifique du Réseau québécois en études féministes (RéQEF) UQAM, Montreal, QC, Canada
Tamar Dina - Music Liberatory, Halifax, NS, Canada
Dr. Gail Dines - Professor of Sociology, Wheelock College, Boston, MA, United States
Caryn Duncan - MA, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Catherine Dunne - Act to Prevent Trafficking, Ireland
Anna Edman - Sweden
Teresa Edwards - B.A., JD. Director, International Affairs and Human Rights, In-House Legal Counsel, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Gunilla S. Ekberg - Former special advisor on prostitution and human trafficking to the Swedish government, human rights lawyer, Canada and Sweden
Fiona Elvines - Operations Coordinator, Rape & Sexual Support Centre Croydon, UK
Jimena Eyzaguirre - M.Sc., M.R.M. Senior Climate Change Specialist, ESSA Technologies Ltd. Ottawa Chapter Co-chair, Canada-Mathare Education Trust
Melissa Farley - Ph.D., Prostitution Research & Education, San Francisco, CA, United States
Colleen Fuller - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Professor Karen Boyle - Chair in Feminist Media Studies, University of Stirling, UK
Easton Branam - Seattle, WA, United States
Chantal Brassard - Intervenante sociale au CALACS, Granby, QC, Canada
Marie-Claude Brault - QC, Canada
Annick Brazeau - Travailleuse sociale, Baccalauréat en travail social, Diplôme d’études collégiales en techniques policières, Certificat universitaire en développement international, Étudiante à la maîtrise en travail social
Hélène Brazeau - Professeure au cégep de l'Outaouais, Maîtrise en psychoéducation de l'UQO, Cantley, QC, Canada
Cathy Brennan - Gender Identity Watch, United States
Janie Breton - Féministe, QC, Canada
Judith Bridge - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Dr. Gwen Brodsky - LLB, LLm, PhD, Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia, BC, Canada
Cleta Brown - LLB, LLM, member of University Women’s Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Kimberly Brown - Equality Now, Nairobi, Kenya
Nancy Brown - SC, OBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Alma Bulawan - President, BUKLOD Survivors' Group, Olongapo, Philippines
Autumn Burris - Survivors for Solutions, United States
Dr. Shauna Butterwick - Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Elizabeth Cahill - St John’s, NL, Canada
Laure Caille - General Secretary, Libres Mariannes, LMS, Member of the European Women Lobby
Tulsi Callichum - Bénévole GAP, Chateauguay, QC, Canada
Callie Fleeger – Student, Talent, OR, United States
Associate Professor Angela Cameron BA, LLB, LLM, PhD – University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Laura Capuzzo - Gruppo Femminile Plurale, Italy
Marie-Josée Carbonneau - Agente de sécurité, Amos, QC, Canada
Elda Carly - Équipes d'Action Contre le Proxénétisme, Paris, France
Chantale Caron - Agricultrice, St-Roch-de-Richelieu, QC, Canada
Carole Cayer – Intervenante, CALACS de Chateauguay, Mercier, QC, Canada
Ida Centola - Avigliana, Italy
Pat Cervelli - Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Tuolumne, CA, United States
Gaétane Chabot - Saint-Laurent-de-l’île-d'Orléans, QC, Canada
Maude Chalvin - Chargée de projet intersectionnalité et agente de communication RQCALACS, Montréal, PQ, Canada
Yuly Chan - Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, Canada
Jaclyn Chang - MA, Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, Canada
Elaine Charkowski – United States
Emmanuelle Charlebois - Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes Ottawa, ON, Canada
Alexandra Charles - Ordförande, Stockholm, Sweden
Vanessa Chase - Board Member, Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Christiana Cheng - PhD, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Gaétane Chénier - Intervenante communautaire, Amos, QC, Canada
Missy Chirprin - Radio Host/Producer, United States.
Youngsook Cho - Korean Women's Association United, South Korea
Jomini Chu - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Kim Chu - University of Calgary Nursing, Vancouver, BC, Canada,
Mélanie Clément - Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes Ottawa, ON, Canada
Christina Clément - femme, Val d'Or, QC, Canada
Conseil national des femmes françaises
Coordination française pour le lobby européen des femmes
Jeannine Cornellier - SNJM, Association des religieuses pour les Droits des femmes, Montréal, QC, Canada
Luce Côté - Montréal, QC, Canada
Madeleine Côté - Montréal, QC, Canada
Véronique Couillard – Intervenante, CALACS Charlevoix, Charlevoix, PQ, Canada
Dr. Maddy Coy - Reader in Sexual Exploitation and Gender Equality, London Metropolitan University, UK
Annie Crepin - France
Maisie Faith J. Dagapioso - Woman Health Philippines, Zamboanga City
Madeleine Dagenais - Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes Ottawa, ON, Canada
Octavia Dahl - United States
Florence Daigneault - Montréal, QC, Canada
Lucie Daigneault - Comptable à l'administration locale de la Maison mère des Soeurs de Miséricorde, Laval, QC, Canada
Mathilde Darton - Intervenante, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada
Mélissa Dauphin - Artiste engagée, Montréal, QC, Canada
Jo-Anne David - Centre Colibri, Barrie, ON, Canada
Stephanie Davies-Arai – United Kingdom.
Shelagh Day - CM, Director, Poverty and Human Rights Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Docteure Michèle Dayras - présidente de SOS sexisme, France
Aurora Javate De Dios - Executive Director, Women and Gender Institute, Miriam College, Philippines
Blathnaid de Faoite - Daughter of a survivor of prostitution, Ireland
Mia de Faoite - Survivor of Prostitution & Philosophy student at The National University of Ireland, Ireland
Yolande de La Bruère - Montréal, QC, Canada
Veronica DeLorme - BA, MA, Retired, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Yvette Delorme - Montréal, QC, Canada
Theresa Delory – QC, Canada
Christiane Delteil - Présidente d'honneur du CIDFF 34, Membre du CT de l'Amicale du Nid "La babotte", Montpellier, France
Line Demers - Adjointe administrative, Diplôme de commis-comptable, Maison d’hébergement pour elles des Deux Vallées, QC, Canada
Kim Deniger - Policière, DEC en Techniques Policières, Gatineau, QC, Canada
Amelia Denny-Keys - Student, Langley, BC, Canada
Linda Denny - MSW, RSW, Langley, BC, Canada
Annie Denoncourt - Criminologue, Intervenante jeunesse, Ste-Brigitte-des-Saults, QC, Canada
Claire Desaint - Vice-President, Réussir l'égalité femmes-hommes, France=
Lise Desrochers - Éducatrice retraitée, Ville de Québec, QC, Canada
Carmen Dion - Intervenante, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada
Françoise Dion - Donnacona, QC, Canada
Christine Dionne - Employée du gouvernement du Canada - école de la fonction du Canada, Spécialiste en apprentissage et en développement, Baccalauréat en éducacion de l'anglais langue seconde de l'UQAM, Diplôme d'éducation aux adultes du Collège de Vancouver, Diplôme de business administration du Collège de Kingston, ON, Canada
Dr. Peggy Dobbins - Port Lavaca, TX, United States
Winifred Doherty - Good Shepherd Sister and NGO representative to the United Nations
Isabelle Dostie, intervenante CALACS, Val d'Or, QC, Canada
Francine Doucette - Secrétaire et aussi amie dans la famille internationale de la miséricorde, St-Eustache, QC, Canada
Siméon Doucette - Retraité de la compagnie Bell canada et ami dans la fam. Int. De la miséricorde, St-Eustache, QC, Canada
Jennifer Drew - Consultant to Scottish Women Against Pornography, United Kingdom
Marie Drouin - Militante et survivante de la prostitution, Montréal, QC, Canada
Laurie Drummond - Member of University Women’s Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Kim Dubé - Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes Ottawa, ON, Canada
Geneviève Duché - présidente de l’Amicale du Nid, France
Micheline Dufour - Retraitée, Charlevoix, PQ, Canada
Rose Dufour - Anthropologue, Directrice générale et fondatrice de la Maison De Marthe, QC, Canada
Caroline Dufresne - intervenante CALACS, Val d'Or, QC, Canada
Nathalie Duhamel - Coordonnatrice RQCALACS, Montréal, PQ, Canada
Monique Dumais - O.S.U., Coordonnatrice pour l'association des religieuses pour les
Droits des femmes, ARDF
Claudette Dumont-Smith - Executive Director, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Lyne Duplain - Intervenante CALACS Charlevoix, Charlevoix, PQ, Canada
Arianne Duplessis - Montréal, QC, Canada
Genevieve Dupuis - Travailleuse sociale CALACS de l’Outaouais, BAC en travail social, Aylmer, QC, Canada
Ilaria Durigon - Gruppo Femminile Plurale, Italy
Lotte Kristine Dysted - Praktikant hos Danners videncenter, NGO Danner, Denmark=
Eaves For Women, United Kingdom
Dele Edokpayi - Esq., Dele Edokpayi and Co Law Chambers, Benin City, Nigeria
F. Elodie Ekobena - Agente de pastorale sociale Villeray, Montréal, QC, Canada
Vera Chigbufue Elue - Legal Counsel, Chicago Municipality Law Office, Chicago, United States
Jean Enriquez - Executive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Asia Pacific
Priscilla Eppinger - Associate Professor of Religion, Chairperson of the Peace Studies Committee at Graceland University, United States
Carla Francesca Erie - Linguiste, Membre d'organisation féministe, Haïti
Professor Maria Eriksson - Professor of Social Work, School for Health, Care, and Social Welfare, Mälardalen University, Sweden
Dr. Elizabeth Evans - Lecturer in Politics, University of Bristol, UK
Natasha Falle - SEXTRADE101, ON, Canada
Danielle Fay - BAA, Thérapeute en santé globale et naturelle, St-Alfred, QC, Canada
Madeleine Ferland - Criminologue, Cowansville, QC, Canada
Elizabetta Ferrero - Turin, Italy
Suzanna Finley - Equality Now, New York, NY, United States
Mia Finn - Mother, Langley, BC, Canada
Jean Fong – Frontline anti-violence worker, Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter, BC, Canada
Janick Fontaine - Intervenante sensibilisation, Technicienne en travail social, Thurso, QC, Canada
Suzanne Fortier - militante, Val d'Or, QC, Canada
Mireille Fortin - Montréal, QC, Canada
Nicole Fortin - Retraitée, Charlevoix, PQ, Canada
Valérie Fortin - infirmière clinicienne, Brossard, QC, Canada
Nicole Fouché - Présidente de Réussir l'égalité femmes-hommes, Cherchs associée, CNRS, Céna-mascipo-EHESS, Paris, France
Isabelle Fournier – Intervenante, CALACS de Rimouski, Rimouski, QC, Canada
Monique Fournier - Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC, Canada
Lindsey Fox – Victoria, BC, Canada
Kirsty Foy - Foy Allison Law Group, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Maggie Fredette - Coordonnatrice intervention CALACS, Sherbrooke, PQ, Canada
Frappier, Julie - travailleuse CALACS, Val d'Or, QC, Canada
Lina Fucà - Turin, Italy
Carolyne Gagné - Professeur, Granby, QC, Canada
Émilie Gagnon - Infographe, Valleyfield, QC, Canada
Gabrielle Gagnon - Ottawa, ON, Canada
Jocelyne Gagnon - Retraitée, Charlevoix, PQ, Canada
Marielle Gagnon - Montréal, QC, Canada
Mariette Gagnon - Montréal, QC, Canada
Michèle Garceau - Citoyenne, Lachine, QC, Canada
Joane Garon - Intervenante CALACS de Rimouski, Rimouski, QC, Canada
Elizabeth Gautchi - Med, member of University Women’s Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Chantal Gauthier - Auxilière aux familles à domicile, Montréal, QC, Canada
Noga Gayle - PhD, member of University Women’s Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Angela Gbemisola – United Kingdom
Yolande Geadah - Author, Montreal, QC, Canada
Associate Professor Daphne Gilbert BA, LLB, LLM – University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Rosanna Giorgietti - Italy
Catriona Gold - Executive Member CUPE 2278, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Leah Gruenpeter Gold - PhD Philosophy Dept. Tel Aviv University, Israel
Tamara Gorin - Port Moody, BC, Canada
Samantha Grey - Front line anti-violence worker, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Associate Professor Vanessa Gruben B.Sc.H, LLB, LLM – University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Jacqueline Gullion - MA, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Irit Hakim - Safe World for Women, United Kingdom, Correspondent in Israel
Carol Hanisch - Editor, MeetingGroundOnLine.org, Ellenville, NY, United States
Hanne Helth - Board Member, Danish Women's Society, Copenhagen, Denmark
Terrie Hendrickson - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Mary Honeyball - Member of the European Parliament, United Kingdom
Donna M. Hughes - B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Professor & Carlson Endowed Chair, Gender & Women's Studies Program, University of Rhode Island, United States
Ghada Jabbour - KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation, Lebanon
Professor Martha Jackman - LL.B., LL.M., L.S.M. Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, ON, Canada
Lone Alice Johansen - Head of Information, The Secretariat of the Shelter Movement, Oslo, Norway
Hedwig Johl - NGO in special consultative status with ECOSOC, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
Guðrún Jónsdóttir - talskona Stígamóta, Stígamótum, Reykjavík, Iceland
Helen Kelsey - Status of Women Committee, Surrey Teachers Association, Surrey, BC, Canada
Hilla Kerner - Front line anti-violence worker, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, BC, Canada
Jennifer Kim - BA Philosophy, Vancouver, BC, CanadA
Daisy Kler - Front line anti-violence worker, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, BC, Canada
Patsy Kolesar - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Katherine B. Lawrence - J.D. Member, Board of Directors, Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jessica Lee - Front-line Crisis Worker, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Dorchen A. Leidholdt - Director, Center for Battered Women's Legal Services, Sanctuary for Families, New York
Marissa Lorenz - Colorado, United States
Laura L. Lovett - Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, United States
Brenda Lucke - RN, BSN, BA, GNC(C), Langley, BC, Canada
Ilaria Maccaroni - Resistenza femminista, Italy
Ainsley MacGregor - Front-line anti-violence worker, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, BC, Canada
Grace Malkihara - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Malka Marcovich - Historian and feminist writer, International consultant, Paris, France
Ane Mathieson - Fulbright Fellow & Staff with the Organization for Prostitution Survivors, Seattle, Unites States
Philippe Mayer - Géomaticien, Montréal, PQ, Canada
Paola Mazzei - Resistenza femminista, Italy
Geraldine McCarthy - Act to Prevent Trafficking, Ireland
Annie McCombs – Kalamazoo, MI, United States
Maureen McGowan – New York, NY, United States
Sheila McIntyre - Retired Professor of Law, University of Ottawa; specializing in Constitutional and Human Rights Law, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Nancy J. Meyer - Hyattsville, MD, United States
Ashley Milbury – MA, Front line anti-violence worker, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, BC, Canada
Michelle Miller - DMin, Resist Exploitation, Embrace Dignity, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Kathy Miriam - PhD, Brooklyn, NY, United States
Adrienne Montani - Child Rights Advocate, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Michele Morek - PhD. UNANIMA International Inc. an ECOSOC-accredited NGO of the United Nations
Dr. Helen Mott - Bristol Fawcett, United Kingdom
Meghan Murphy - Journalist, Canada
Ana Maria R. Nemenzo - National Coordinator, Woman Health Philippines
Clare Nolan - Srs of the Good Shepherd, New York, NY, United States
Celia Nord - Archaeologist, Lee Creek, BC, Canada
Aibhlín O’Leary - Anti-Trafficking Project Coordinator Immigrant Council of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Catherine Olivier - Enseignante au collegial, Montréal, PQ, Canada
Sonia Ossorio - President, National Organization for Women, New York, NY, United States
Marie-Noël Paradis - Intervenante, Québec, PQ, Canada
María Paredes - Student, Vancouver, BC, Canada
So Eyun Park - BMLSc., Burnaby, BC, Canada
Maggie Parks - Chief Executive, Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Cornwall, UK
Niovi Patsicakis - B.Ed, M.Ed., Special Education Consultant, SENG-trained facilitator, Canada
Dr. Jenny Petrak – MSc, PsychD
Heidi Petrak - Msc. Nursing Professor, BC, Canada
Kathleen Piovesan – Ph.D. Candidate, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, United States
Dianne Post - Attorney, Phoenix Women Take Back the Night, Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Brittney Powell - Feminist, BA, Nelson, BC, Canada
Dr. Helen Pringle - School of Social Sciences UNSW, Sydney, Australia
Chanelle Ram - Feminist nursing student, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Janice G. Raymond - Professor Emerita of Women's Studies and Medical Ethics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, United States
Yasmin Rehman - Women's rights campaigner, member of the End Violence Against Women Coalition Board, UK
Sanda Rodgers - Emeritus Professor, University of Ottawa, ON, Canada
Nina Rose, MD - Vice President, Swedish Medical Women's Association, Sweden
Isabelle Rouillard - Intervenante, QC, Canada
Marion Runcie - Vancouver BC, Canada
Louisa Russell - Front-line anti-violence worker, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, BC, Canada
Persia Rutchinski - Sydney, Australia
Susanne Rutchinski - BA, graphic designer, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Valentina S., - Resistenza femminista, Italy
Peggy Sakow - Founding Co-Chair and Member, Temple Committee Against Human
Trafficking, Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, Montreal, QC, Canada
Julieta Montaño Salvatierra - Abogada, Directora de la Oficina Jurídica Para la Mujer
Yolanda Sanchez-Contreras - Communications Coordinator GSIJP Office Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd (An NGO in special consultative status with ECOSOC, UN)
Aida F. Santos-Maranan - President & Executive Director, Board of Trustees Consultant on Gender, Development, Human Rights, Philippines
Emma Scott - Director, Rights of Women, London, UK
Amy Sebes - Founder, Association of Albanian Girls and Women (AAGW), Albania
Brittney Sharma - Activist, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Idit Harel Shemesh - Machon Toda'a Awareness Center, Israel
Sr. Terry Shields - MSHR President, Dawn's Place, Philadelphia, United States
Associate Professor Penelope Simons – BA, LLB, LLM, PhD, Honours: Human Security Fellow 2002-2004 Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, ON, Canada
Ann Simonton - Media Watch, United States
Stephanie-Grace Skrobisz - Santa Cruz, CA, United States
Cherry Smiley - Nlaka’pamux/Thompson and Dine’/Navajo Nations, co-founder of Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry, BC, Canada
Keira Smith-Tague - Front line anti-violence worker, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, BC, Canada
Linnea W. Smith - MD, North Carolina, United States
Silvia Elida Ortiz Solis - Representante del Grupo Civil VI.D.A, Torreon, Mexico
Lisa Sparrow - Skowkale First Nation, Front-line anti-violence worker Chilliwack, BC, Canada
Emily Spence - BA, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Ivana Stazio – Italy
Lisa Steacy - BA, front-line anti-violence worker, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, BC, Canada
Terrie Strange - Organizing for Women’s Liberation, Yuma, AZ, United States
Katie Streibel - Transition House Worker, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter, BC, Canada
Annie Sugier - President, Ligue du Droit International des Femmes, Paris, France
Eun Soon Suh - Burnaby, BC, Canada
Eva-Britt Svensson - former Member of the European Parliament, Sweden
Monina Geaga - Secretary-General, SARILAYA, Philippines
Jenny Geng - Burnaby, BC, Canada
Mylène Geoffroy - Intervenante communautaire, Saint-Jean-de-Matha, QC, Canada
Carol Giardina - Asst Professor, History Dept. Queens College, NY, United States
Lucia Giffi - Turin, Italy
Lise Giguère - QC, Canada
Marcella Gilardoni - Gilardoni Law Offices, Turin, Italy
Dr. Aisha K. Gill - Reader in Criminology, University of Roehampton, UK
Marie-Chanel Gillier – New Delhi, India
Jay Ginn - Older Feminists Network, United Kingdom
France Giroux - Coiffeuse, Granby, QC, Canada
Phyllis Giroux - S.C., M.A.(J), Kelowna, BC, Canada
Irene Goodwin - Director, Evidence to Action, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Sonya Grenier - intervenante CALACS, Val d'Or, QC, Canada
Leanore Gough - Front line anti-violence worker, Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, BC, Canada
Francine Gravel - Réceptioniste à l'Infirmerie de la Maison mère des Soeurs de Miséricorde, Terrebonne, QC, Canada
Arlana Green - Victim Services Support worker, Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Élaine Grisé - Montréal, QC, Canada
Catherine Guay-Quirion - Étudiante universitaire à temps plein, Amos, QC, Canada
Julie Guibord – Intervenante, CALACS de Chateauguay, Valleyfield, QC, Canada
Joana Guillaume - Professeure de philosophie, Études juridiques, Membre d'organisation féministe, Haïti
Susanna Gulin - Finland
Bernadette Gullion - Educator, BC, Canada
Czarina M. Gutierrez - B.A., BC, Canada
Francine Hamel - Retraitée, Diplômes de Maîtrise en littérature et Maîtrise en éducation (counselling de carrière), QC, Canada
Nicole Hamel – coordonnatrice, CALACS, Lac-à-la-Tortue, PQ, Canada
Joyce Harris - Chair Sisters of St. Ann B. C. Social Justice Committee, BC, Canada
Jayme Hass - Junior Policy Analyst / Researcher, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Arnprior, ON
Karah Hawkins - Victim Advocate CEASE, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Katherine Hébert-Metthé - Consultante sur l'hypersexualisation, Montréal, QC, Canada
Orla Hegarty – NL, Canada
Cathryn Henley - President, Canadian Federation of University Women Cranbrook Club, Cranbrook, BC, Canada
Céline Héon - Montréal, QC, Canada
Loralie Hettler – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Christine Honor - Australia
Myriam Houde - Criminologue au Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau, Gatineau, QC, Canada
Bernett Huang - Archival Studies, Fu Ren University, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jade Hudon - QC, Canada
Charlotta Huldt-Ramberg - Member of the board or the UN Women National Committee, Sweden
Jacqui Hunt - Equality Now, London, United Kingdom
Patricia Hynes - Retired Professor of Environmental Health, Boston University and Director, Traprock Center for Peace and Justice, Greenfield, MA, United States
Valentina Iamotti - Resistenza femminista, Italy
Chantal Ismé - Organisatrice communautaire à la Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle, Montréal, QC, Canada
Cynthia Jacques - Intervenante, Rouyn-Noranda, PQ, Canada
Suzanne Jay - MA, Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, Canada
Patricia Jean - Linguiste, Féministe, Haïti
Rhéa Jean - Ph. D in Philosophy (Laval University), Postdoctoral fellow at the
University of Luxembourg
Kimberly Jerome - Bookkeeper, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Sonya Johal - BSc, Surrey, BC, Canada
Natasha Johnson - Graphic Designer, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Valerie Judge - MBA, Management Consultant, Ireland
Justice for Girls, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Ludmila Karabaciska - Étudiante à l’Université Concordia, Applied human science, Montréal, QC, Canada
Annpôl Kassis - Paris, France
Soka Handinah Katjasungkana - LBH-Apik, Semarang, Indonesia
Ranjit Kaur - Ex Magistrate, ex-Director of Rights of Women UK, Lawyer, United Kingdom
Roisin Kelly - Ireland
Marilyn Kempf - Équipes d'Action Contre le Proxénétisme, Paris, France
K. Kilbride - Surrey, BC, Canada
Morgan King - Australia
Ann Kirkey – Toronto, ON, Canada
Antonia Kirkland - Equality Now, New York, United States
Dr. Renate Klien - Spinifex Press, Australia
Donée-Maude Kobin - Intervenante, Rouyn-Noranda, PQ, Canada
Donna Christie Kolkey - member of University Women’s Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Monica Krake - Communications Director, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Izabela Krekora - Manager of fund development, Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Cathrine Linn Kristiansen – Norway
Leanne Kwan - PharmD, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Renée Labrie - St-Jean-de-l’île-d'Orléans, QC, Canada
Sophie Labrie - Intervenante sociale au CALACS, Bromont, QC, Canada
Maryse Lafleur - QC, Canada
Isabelle Lafontaine - Étudiante au doctorat en travail social à l’Université de Montréal, Auxiliaire de recherche, Intervenante à l’association des familles monoparentales et recomposées de l’Outaouais, Professeure à la cité collégiale aux programmes de techniques de travail social et d’éducation spécialisée, Gatineau, QC, Canada
Judy Lafontaine, intervenante, CALACS, Val d'Or, QC, Canada
Allison Laing - BA, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jennifer E. Laing - RN, BScN, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Monique, S.M. Lallier - Supérieure générale de l'Institut des Soeurs de miséricorde de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
Lee Lakeman - Women’s rights advocate, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Ève Lamont - Réalisatrice, Montréal, QC, Canada
Nancy Langlois - Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes Ottawa, ON, Canada
Catherine Lapointe - Canada
Ghislaine Laporte - S.N.J.M., QC, Canada
Marai Larasi - MBE, M.A. Executive Director, Imkaan, UK
Marilyn Larocque - R.H.S.J. Kingston, ON, Canada
Myriam Larocque - Intervenante, Étudiante, Montréal, QC, Canada
Trine Porret Randahl Larsen - President, Women’s Council in Denmark (Kvinderådet)
Gemma Laser - Belfast, ME, United States
Widlande Laurol - Linguiste, Membre d'organisation féministe, Haïti
Claudia Lavigueur – Intervenante, CALACS de Chateauguay, Ste-Clotilde, QC, Canada
Marie-Josée Lavoie - Secrétaire-administratrice RQCALACS, Montréal, PQ, Canada
Annette Lawson - Chair, the National alliance of Women's Organizations, United Kingdom
M. Paule Lebel - Membre de la coordination du Québec de la marche mondiale des femmes, QC, Canada
Aurélie Lebrun, PhD - QC, Canada
Marie-Paule Lebrun - Montréal, QC, Canada
Brigitte Lechenr - Woman, United Kingdom
Patricia Leclair - Militante, Montréal, QC, Canada
Marie Lecomte - Vice President, Libres Mariannes, LMS, Member of the European Women Lobby
Alice Lee - Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, Canada
Young Sun Lee - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Éliane Legault-Roy - Responsable des communications à la Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle, Maitrise en science politique, Montréal, QC, Canada
Ronitin Lentin - University Professor, Ireland
Barbara Leon - Watsonville, CA, United States
Carla Lesh - Kingston, NY, United States
Constance Létourneau - Membre du Comité de Montréal contre la traite des personnes, QC, Canada
Guilaine Levesque - Coordonnatrice CALACS, Baie-Comeau, PQ, Canada
Lévesque, Sandra - intervenante CALACS, Val d'Or, QC, Canada
Jacqueline Lewis - Emergency Medical Technician & Front line crisis worker at Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter, BC, Canada
Maureen Lewis – Red Deer, AB, Canada
Raïssa Leyan’Simbi - Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes Ottawa, ON, Canada
Jytte Lindgaard - Lawyer, member of The Danish National Observatory on Violence Against Women
Linklater, Sheila - Director of Finance, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Pak Ka Liu - Victim Services Medical Support Worker, Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Josée Longchamps - Thérapeute, Tingwick, QC, Canada
Letizia Longo - Accountant, Turin, Italy
Lovely Jean Louis - Mémorante en lingUnited Statesitique et en études juridiques, Militante féministe, Haïti
Emma Luke - Occupational Therapist, Australia
Nathalie Lussier - Secrétaire-comptable, Granby, QC, Canada
br/> Linda MacDonald - Persons Against NST, Canada
R. MacKenzie - Feminist campaigner, Scotland
Alison Luke - Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Eliana Maestri - Feminist Group, Birmingham, UK
Dr. Arianna Maffiotti - Turin Local Health Services, Moncalieri (TO), Italy
Sarah M. Mah - BSc, Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, Canada
Sylvie Mantha - Chef Division recherche, développement et stratégie organisationnelle du Service de police de Gatineau, Gatineau, QC, Canada
Maude Marcaurelle - Intervenante sociale, Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, QC, Canada
Berthe Marcotte - Montréal, QC, Canada
Louise Marcotte - Survivante, Montréal, QC, Canada
Lorna Martin - Executive Assistant, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Angela Martinez - TTS, Coordonatrice des services d’interventions du Calacs francophone d’Ottawa, ON, Canada
Virginia Martinez - Burnaby, BC, Canada
Annalise Masear-Gough – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Kristine Massey - Lecturer in Criminal Psychology, Canterbury Christchurch University, UK
Maureen Master - Human Rights Lawyer, United States
Jade Mathieu - Intervenante CALACS de Chateauguay, St-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada
Andrea Matolcsi - Equality Now, London, UK
Diane Matte - Activiste féministe, Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle, Montréal, QC, Canada
Maria Grazia Mauti - Resistenza femminista, Italy
Paula May - Experte en ressources humaines, Montréal, QC, Canada
Dr. Melanie McCarry - Guild Senior Research Fellow, Connect Centre for International Research on Gender and Harm, University of Central Lancashire, UK
Caitlin McKellar - Board Member, Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Myriam Meilleur – Stagiaire, CALACS Chateauguay, QC, Canada
Chiara Melloni - Gruppo Femminile Plurale, Italy
Émilie Mercier-Roy - Survivante de la prostitution et co-fondatrice du Gîte L'Autre porte, Val-d'Or, QC, Canada
Gunhild Mewes - Germany
Jodie Millward - MCP, CCC, Aboriginal Family Counselor, Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Suzy Mingus - Accountant, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Shiloh Minor - Teacher, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Phyllis Minsky - Teacher and Aboriginal Advocate, Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, Surrey, BC, Canada
Rachel Moran - Founding Member of SPACE International (Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightenment), Ireland
Magdala Moreau - Mémorante en linguistique, Militante féministe, Haïti
Marthe Moreau - Montréal, QC, Canada
Rachael Morgan – Student, Australia
Émilie Morin-Rivest - Intervenante à la maison d'hébergement pour elles des deux vallées, Gatineau, QC, Canada
Julie Charbonneau Morin - Éducatrice spécialisée, Montréal, QC, Canada
Marcelle Morin – QC, Canada
Nathalie Morin - Commis comptable, Amos, QC, Canada
Libby Morrison - United Kingdom
Françoise Morvan - Vice-présidente de la Coordination française pour le lobby européen des femmes
Rebecca Mott - Survivor of indoor prostitution, United Kingdom
Jeanne Françoise Mouè - La Maison, Toronto, ON, Canada
Debs Munn - Refugee Settlement Worker, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Lily Munroe - Women’s rights advocate and abolitionist, Australia
Jeannine Nadeau - Infirmière, Ville de Québec, QC, Canada
Marie-Michelle Nault - Survivante, Montréal, QC, Canada
Amy Nahwegahbow - Senior Policy Analyst/ Researcher, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Frederica Newell - Ireland
Donna-Marie Newfield - Therapist, Canada
Kendra Newman - Heiltsuk Nation, front line anti-violence worker, Burnaby, BC, Canada
Liette Nobert - Montréal, QC, Canada
Jane Norlund – Norway
Dr. Caroline Norma - Lecturer in Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Australia
Ana Novakovic – Front-line anti-violence worker, Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter, BC, Canada
Zdenka Novakovic - Burnaby, BC, Canada
Daniella Nunes-Taveira - Intervenante à la maison d'amitié - télécommunications à l'hôpital d'Ottawa, Technique de réadaptation et de justice pénale et présentement à l'université en criminologie, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Dr. Monica O'Connor - Independent Researcher, Ireland
Maura O’Donohue - Doctor, Ireland
Katrin Öberg - Sweden
Lis Ehmer Olesen - Board member of the Women’s Council and The Danish National Observatory on Violence Against Women, Denmark
Maren Ollman - Turin, Italy
Kajsa Olsson – Sweden
Alina Olszewska - Turin, Italy
Blessing Osatohanmwen - Turin, Italy
Oti Anukpe Ovrawah - Director, Nigerian Human Rights Commission, Abuja, Nigeria
Angel Love Owens – Perth, Australia
Geneviève Pagé - Phd, Professeure de science politique à l’UQAM, Montréal, QC, Canada
Karina Painchaud - QC, Canada
Celeste Pang - Freelance Bookkeeper, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Monique Paradis - Enseignante retraitée, QC, Canada
Giulia Parm - Turin, Italy
Carla Pastorino - Genova, Italy
Kim Pate – Executive Director, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Yolaine Paul - Responsable de bibliothèque, Études administratives et comptable, Membre d'organisation féministe, Haïti
Sokie Paulin - Glendale, CA, United States
Françoise Pellerin - Montréal, QC, Canada
Gisèle Pellerin - Montréal, QC, Canada
Céline Pelletier - Maison Interlude, Hawkesbury, ON, Canada
Lise Perras - Montréal, QC, Canada
Julie-Anne Perrault - Féministe, Montréal, QC, Canada
Nathalie Perreault - Travailleuse culturelle et féministe (abolitionniste), Montréal, QC, Canada
Bridget Perrier - SexTrade101, ON, Canada
Marisa Perrone - Turin, Italy
Gaëtane Pharand - Centre Victoria, Sudbury, ON, Canada
Jacqueline Picard – QC, Canada
Stéphanie Picard - Intervenante, Rouyn-Noranda, PQ, Canada
Elizabeth A. Pickett - LL.M, ON, Canada
Ellen Pilcher – Activist & Writer, United Kingdom
Candice Pilgrim – Lawyer, Belleville, ON, Canada
Maudy Piot - Présidente de l'Association Femmes Pour le Dire, Femmes pour Agir, France
Marie-Christine Plante - Ph.D. candidate sociology, UQAM, Montreal, QC, Canada
Anne Plourde - Doctorante en science politique UQAM, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, PQ, Canada
Monique Potin - Bibliothécaire et féministe, Val-d’Or, QC, Canada
Claudette Poupart - Retraitée, Boucherville, PQ, Canada
Jalysha Pratap – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Colette Price - Midwife, Feminist, NY, United States
Claudia Quendo - Turin, Italy
Marielle Quenneville - Montréal, QC, Canada
Suzanne Quinn - Réseau femmes sud-ouest, Sarnia, ON, Canada
Claudia Ramirez - Bénévole GAP, Chateauguay, QC, Canada
Sandra Ramos - Founder/Executive Director, Strengthen Our Sisters, Shelter and Advocacy for homeless/battered women and children, NJ, United States
Natalie Ranspot - BA, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jody Raphael - Visiting Professor of Law, Depaul University, United States
Anne Rasmussen - LivaRehab, Denmark
Christelle Raspolini - Présidente du comité Ni putes ni soumises de Guadeloupe, Le gosier, Guadeloupe
Anyta Raymond - Reviseur, Cowansville, QC, Canada
Anber Raz - Equality Now, London, UK
Sarah Mélodie Razafintsehere - Bénévole GAP, Chateauguay, QC, Canada
Jennifer Reed - Rain and Thunder Collective, MA, United States
Stephanie Reifferscheid - BA, Women’s Advocate and counselor for more than 25 years, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jennifer Remnant – United Kingdom
Sandrine Ricci - Phd Student and Assistant professor (UQAM), Montréal, PQ, Canada
Hélène Richard - Intervenante auprès des femmes, Montréal, QC, Canada
Mylène Richer - Éducatrice en garderie, Beauharnois, QC, Canada
Jenny Rickmann - Nurse, Germany
Chantelle Rideout - MFA University of New Brunswick, Halifax, NS, Canada
Nella Righetti - Turin, Italy
Cossette Rivera - Equality Now, New York, United States
Haile Rivera - New York, United States
Chantal Robitaille - Intervenante CALACS Chateauguay, Beauharnois, QC, Canada
Eleanor Roffman - Ed.D. Professor and Director of Field Training, Division of Counseling and Psychology, Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, Lesley University, MA, United States
Caitlin Roper - WA State Coordinator, Collective Shout, Australia
Carissa Ropponen - BA, Executive and Development Assistant, Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Garine Roubinian - Rain and Thunder Collective, MA, United States
Nayiree Roubinian - Rain and Thunder Collective, MA, United States
Justine Rouse-Lamarre - Étudiante à la maîtrise en histoire à l'UQAM, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada
Gerardine Rowley – Ruhama, Ireland
Lorraine Roy - Militante et survivante de la prostitution, St-Jérôme, QC, Canada
Michèle Roy - Organisatrice communautaire, Montréal, QC, Canada
Sylvie Roy - Désigner, St-Pie, QC, Canada
Rita Ruel - Enseignante retraitée, QC, Canada
Assistant Professor Rakhi Ruparelia B.Sc., B.S.W., LL.B. M.S.W., LL.M. – University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Dr. Emma Rush - Lecturer in Ethics and Philosophy, Charles Stuart University, Australia
Roweena Russell – United Kingdom
Marie-Claude Saindon - Intervenante CALACS de Rimouski, Rimouski, QC, Canada
Anaïs Salamon - Bibliothécaire en chef bibliothèque d'études islamiques de l’Université McGill, Montréal, QC, Canada
Roberta Salper - Resident Scholar, Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University Boston, MA, United States
Myles Sanchez - President, Bagong Kamalayan Prostitution Survivors' Collective, Manila, Philippines
Mélanie Sarroino - LL.M., Agente de liaison et de promotion RQCALACS (Regroupement québécois des centres d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel), Montréal, PQ, Canada
Jeanne Sarson - Persons Against Non-State Torture, Canada
Katharina Sass - Norway
Kathryn Scarbrough - PhD, East Brunswick, NJ, United States
Sarah Schwartz - United States
Karen Segal - B.A, JD candidate 2014, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Solveig Senft - Abolitionist, Member of Terre des Femmes, Germany
Jonnie Sharp – NC, United States
Carole Shea - Militante, Rawdon, QC, Canada
Professor Elizabeth Sheehy - LLB, LLM, LLD (Hons LSUC), 2014 Recipient of the CBA Ramon Hnatyshyn Award for Law
Victoria Sherman - Italy
Maire Ni Shuilleabhain - Support worker with women affected by prostitution and THB, Ireland
Linda Shuto - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Christiane Sibillotte - Comité justice sociale des soeurs auxiliatrices, Montréal, QC, Canada
Rachèle Simard - Artiste, Montréal, QC, Canada
Indrani Sinha - Executive Director, Sanlaap, India
Georgette Sirois - Infirmière retraitée, Ville de Québec, QC, Canada
Chris Sitka – Australia
Shannon Slight – Tasmania, Australia
Betty M. Smith - Camden, ME, United States
Peggy R. Smith - Lincolnville, ME, United States
Joan Smurthwaite - Catholic Women's League WA, Australia
Mudahogora Solange - Maitrise en sociologie avec spécialisation en études des femmes de l'université d'Ottawa, Représentante de Femmes action en région métropolitaine de Halifax, NS, Canada
Carole Anne Soong - University Women’s Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Terre Spencer - United States
Anne-Marie Spera - Travaillese Sociale, Gatineau, QC, Canada
Nadine Spuls - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Michèle St-Amand - Sexologue et psychothérapeute, Laval, QC, Canada
Johanne St-Amour - Féministe, QC, Canada
Ginette St-Jean - Val Joli, QC, Canada
Professor Joanne St. Lewis BA, LLB - University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ONCanada
Cornelia Sternberg - Germany
Holly Stevens – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Hanne Storset - Analyzer, Social Sciences, Norway
Johanna Strand - Teacher and feminist, Norway
Emily Streibel - Raymond, AB, Canada
Eva Streibel - Raymond, AB, Canada
Agnete Strøm - The Women’s Front of Norway, Bergen, Norway
Leah Strudwick – Student, Toronto, ON, Canada
Amanda Sullivan - Equality Now, New York, United States
Doris Sullivan - Militante abolitionniste, Rawdon, QC, Canada
Rose Sullivan - Militante et survivante de la prostitution, Rawdon, QC, Canada
Elsie Suréna - Intervenante dans le domaine de la violence contre les femmes, Toronto, ON, Canada
Jacqueline Sutton - BA, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Fumi Suzuki - Executive Director, Space Allies, Japan
Hélène Sylvain - Conseillère pédagogique, St-Jérome, QC, Canada
Geneviève Szczepanik - Ph.d., Montréal, QC, Canada
Carolina Tafuri - Italy
Mairead Tagg - Clinical Psychologist and specialist in gender based violence, Scotland
Julie Talbot - Montréal, QC, Canada
Elsie Tan - MSN, member of University Women’s Club, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Emilia Tedesco - Turin, Italy
Karin Temerpley – Melbourne, Australia
Danièle Tessier - Sociologue, Montréal, QC, Canada
Randi Theil - Head of Secretariat, Women’s Council in Denmark (Kvinderådet)
Maj Britt Theorin - F. member of European Parliament and chairwomen of the Committee of Women’s Right and Equality
Carole Thériault - Intervenante sociale au CALACS, St-Alphonse, QC, Canada
Mélanie Thétrault - Intervenante, Granby, QC, Canada
Joan Thomas - RN, PhD, Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Nia Thomas - Artist, London, United Kingdom
Irene Tsepnopoulos-Elhaimer - Executive Director, Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Gale Tyler - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Nicolien Van Luijk - MA, PhD (c), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Toni Van Pelt - Public Policy Director, Institute for Science and Human Values, Inc. FL, United States
Megan Watt - Leduc, AB, Canada
Karin Werkman - Researcher, the Netherlands
Chloe Westlake - BA, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
Dr. Rebecca Whisnant - Director of Women's and Gender Studies, University of Dayton, United States
Margareta Winberg - Former deputy prime minister and minister for gender equality, Sweden
Crystal Wong – Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, Canada
Jodie Woodward - Head of Operations, Nia Ending Violence, UK
Linda Thompson - Women's Support Project, Scotland
Virginie Tiberghien - Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes Ottawa, ON, Canada
Yvonne Tierney – ON, Canada
Léa Trahan - Montréal, QC, Canada
Alice Tremblay - Montréal, QC, Canada
Karine Tremblay - Agente de liaison RQCALACS, Montréal, PQ, Canada
Dr. Jill Trenholm - Lecturer/researcher, Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Sweden
Rita Trottier - Montréal, QC, Canada
Ada Tsang - BSW, Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, Canada
Louise Turmel - Enseignante retraitée, Ville de Québec, QC, Canada
Jane Turner - Teacher, Burnaby, BC, Canada
Anna Ulatowshki - Germany
Sara Ungar – ON, Canada
Nordic Model Advocates, United Kingdom
Adina Ungureanu - Ville Saint-Laurent, QC, Canada
Helen Uwangue - Benin City, Nigeria
France Vallières - Retraitée, Rive Sud, QC, Canada
Sylvie Van Brabant - Cinéaste, Montréal, QC, Canada
Claudette Vandal - Montréal, QC, Canada
Helen Vasa - Registered Clinical Counsellor, Canada
Roberta Veenstra - Engaged Citizen, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
Marie Hélène Veillette - Conseillère en rééducation, Granby, QC, Canada
Sue Veneer - United Kingdom
Michèle Vianès - Présidente de regards de femmes, Lyon, France
Marilou Vidal - Bénévole GAP, Mercier, QC, Canada
Monique Vigneault - Retraitée, Amos, QC, Canada
Jeanne Villeneuve - Directrice des institutions patrimoniales Blueland, Conseillère de quartier mairie du 7° arrondissement de Paris, Présidente de l’Association quartier Breteuil de Paris, France
Ariane Vinet-Bonin - Étudiante à la maîtrise en service social à l’Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
Dr. Judith Walker - Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Megan Walker - Executive Director, London Abused Women's Centre, London, ON, Canada
Zuilmah Wallis - Ireland
Dr. Renate Walther - Germany
Pei-Ju Wang - Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, Canada
Claire Warmels - Étudiante en philosophie à Concordia University, Montréal, QC, Canada
Simone Watso - Exited survivor, Australia
Maureen Watt - Citoyenne, St-Lin-Laurentides, QC, Canada
Morgan Westcott – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Vicki Wharton - Antipornculture, United Kingdom
Cindy Wilkinson – ON, Canada
Jeri Williams - Survivor 2 Survivor, Portland, OR, United States
Jacqueline Wilson - Businesswoman and Philanthropist, Board Chair, Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Ursula Wojciechowski - Translator, Germany
Elizabeth Wolber – Teacher at Fraser Heights Secondary School, Collective member with Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, BC, Canada
Angela Wong - Edmonton, AB, Canada
Maria Wong - Front line anti-violence worker Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter, BC, Canada
Corey Lee Wrenn – founder Vegan Feminist Network, United States
Pauline Yargeau - Administratrice d’un centre d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel, Amos, QC, Canada
Elisabeth Zadnick – QC, Canada
Kerstin Zander - Re-Empowerment e.V., Deutschland
Clorinde Zephir - Professeure de littérature française, Directrice d'organisation féministe, Haïti
Men in support of the letter
Brian Africa – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Dr. Ifode Ajari - Medical doctor, United States
Iroro Ajari - Nigeria
Obuks Ajari - Lagos, Nigeria
Kevin Ault - High School Teacher, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Louis Bélisle - Consultant en développement organisationnel, Montréal, QC, Canada
Alain Benoit - Travailleur du réseau de la santé, Montréal, QC, Canada
Bert Bjarland - Vice President, Profeministmiehet, Finland
Didier Bois - Enseignant, Paris, France
Andrew Bomberry - Policy Analyst/ Researcher, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Paolo Botti - Executive Director, Associazione Amici di Lazzaro, Italy
Dr. Christoph Brake – Germany
Dr. Robert Brannon, Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College CUNY.
National Chairperson, NOMAS Task Group on Pornography, Prostitution, and Sex-Trafficking
Mordecai Briemberg - Member of StopWar.ca, retired College Instructor, Burnaby, BC, Canada
Stan Burditt - Founder, MAST-Men Against Sexual Trafficking, Canada
Giorgio Carpita - Italy
Denis Carrier - QC, Canada
Philippe Fortier Charette - Travailleur, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada
Mathieu Charland-Faucher - Organisateur communautaire, Granby, QC, Canada
Gagan Chhabra - Student, Norway
Alex Coles - BFA Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Canada
Guillaume Danis - Militant, Saint-Lin, QC, Canada
James Darbouze - Enseignant-chercheur, Militant syndical, Port-au-Prince, Haïti
Jhonson Desir - Linguiste, Membre d'organisation féministe, Haïti
Timothy Dickau - DMin, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Martin Dufresne - Journalist, Le COUAC, Canada
Paul Eid - Professeur au Département de sociologie de l’UQAM, Montréal, QC, Canada
Pius Elue - Chicago, IL, United States
Renel Exentus - Militant Assumer Ayiti, Montréal, QC, Canada
Marco Fasoli - Turin, Italy
Professor Gene Feder - Professor of Primary Health Care, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, UK
Professor Bruce Feldthusen - former Dean, BA Queen’s, JD Michigan, LLB Western and LLM Michigan
Antonio Chiadò Fiorio Tin - Mayor, Massello Municipality, Province of Turin, Italy
Joshua Flavell - Sydney, Australia
Nicolas Flechier - Travailleur social, Membre d'organisation féministe, Haïti
Matt Fodor – ON, Canada
Daniele Gaglianone - Film Producer, Turin, Italy
Adam Gagnon - Militant, Beauharnois, QC, Canada
Martin Gallié - Professeur de droit à l’Université du Québec à Montréal, QC, Canada
Gabriel Garcia - Comptable, Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, QC, Canada
Claude Gendron - Retraité, Responsable des achats à la maison mère des Soeurs de miséricorde, Brossard, QC, Canada
Ioan Gi-Kwong - Étudiant, Bromont, QC, Canada
Massimo Gianasso - Turin Municipality Police Force, Turin, Italy
Maurizio Gili - Accountant, Senior Partner, Maurizio Gili & Co, Turin, Italy
Azlan Graves - LPN/Outreach nurse, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Chris Green - Director White Ribbon Campaign, UK
Michael Horowitz - CEO, 21 Century Initiatives, Principal Author of the US Trafficking Victims
Benedict Hynes - PhD candidate, Simon Fraser University, BC, Canada
Biko Ismé-René - Étudiant, Artiste, Travailleur, Montréal, QC, Canada
Dr. Robert Jensen - University of Texas at Austin, Texas, United States
Thomas H. Kemsley - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Edoardo Kibongui - Italian Baptist Union of Churches, Turin, Italy
Anton Klepke - Sweden
Claude Labrecque - QC, Canada
Benjamin Lach – Germany
Marie-Thérèse Lacourse – QC, Canada
Matthew K. Laing - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Michael Laxer - Toronto City Council Candidate-Ward 6, Toronto, ON, Canada
Gabriel Legault - Mi-retraité service quincaillerie et ami dans la fam. Int. De la miséricorde, Lachine, QC, Canada
Gabriele Lenzi - Resistenza femminista, Italy
David Lohan - Co-Author "Open Secrets: An Irish Perspective on Trafficking & Witchcraft", Ireland
Oscar Sanchez Viesca Lopez - Miembro activo del grupo civil VI.D.A y amnrdac, Torreon, Mexico
Eli Mack-Hardiman – NY, United States
Claudio Magnabosco - Director and co-founder, Associazione Ragazze di Benin City, Italy
Guy Malette - Responsable des Achats et de la maintenance de la Maison mère des Soeurs de Miséricorde, Montréal, QC, Canada
Pascal Marcil - Senior specialist, Bromont, QC, Canada
Dr. Michael Markwick - Capilano University, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Colin Mingus – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Josua Mata - Secretary-General, SENTRO Labor Center, Philippines
Hugh McElveen - Independent Researcher, Ireland
David McHugh - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Ronald Meyer - Halfmoon Bay, BC, Canada
Patrick Morin - Militant, Valleyfield, QC, Canada
Ryan Munn – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jonathan Nambu - Executive Director, Samaritana Transformation Ministries, Inc., Philippines
Michael Nestor - Australia
David H. Nguyen - Editor-in-Chief, Cancer InCytes Magazine, USA
Irwin Oostindie - Media producer, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Arinze Orakue - Director of PR, Nigerian National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Abuja, Nigeria
Joe Osagie - Greater London City Council, London, UK
Lucky Oseye - Turin, Italy
Simeon Pang – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Pascale Parent - Interventante CALACS de Rimouski, Rimouski, QC, Canada
Dan Peters - Partnership Co-ordinator, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Alain Philoctète - Coordonateur de programmes, Poète, Maîtrise en pratique de recherche et action publique, Montréal, QC, Canada
Richard Poulin - Professeur émérite département de sociologie et d'anthropologie de l’Université d'Ottawa, Professeur associé à l’Institut de recherches et d'études féministes (IREF) de l’Université du
Québec à Montréal, Ville Mont-Royal, QC, Canada
Professor Keith Pringle - Professor of Sociology with a specialism in social work, Uppsala University, Sweden; Adjungeret Professor, Aalborg University, Denmark; and Honorary Professor, University of Warwick, UK
Fred Robert - Fondateur, Zéromacho
Vincent Romani - Professeur régulier, département de science politique à l’Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada
Marc Andris Saint Louis - Travailleur social, Membre d'organisation féministe, Haïti
Dario Saluz - Architect, Turin, Italy
Hugh Samson - B.Sc, P. Geo. Vancouver, BC, Canada
François Savard - Directeur de la Maison mère des Soeurs de Miséricorde, Montréal, QC, Canada
Philippe Scelles - Président d'honneur et vice-président de la Fondation Scelles
Yves Scelles - Vice-président de la Fondation Scelles, France
Reece K. Sellin - Fort Saskatchewan, AB, Canada
Marc André Sullivan - Militant, Montréal, QC, Canada
François Trudel - Directeur d'entreprise Chandelles tradition, St-Constant, QC, Canada
Elcid Vedinel - Linguiste, Membre d'organisation féministe, Haïti
Ray Justin Ventura - National Chairperson, Youth and Students Advancing Gender Equality (YSAGE), Philippines
Max Waltman - PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, Sweden
Marv Wheale - Home Health Air, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jonathan R. Wilson - Ph.D., Carey Theological College, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Carlo Italo Zanotti - Architect, Senior Partner, Artom & Zanotti Associati, Turin, Italy
David Zimmerman - GEMS Council of Daughters, National Survivor Network, Polaris Project Legislative Circle, United States of America
 Canada (Attorney General) v.Bedford, 2012 ONCA 186, para. 117, online at: http://www.ontariocourts.ca/decisions/2012/2012ONCA0186.pdf
 Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, 2013 SCC 72, para. 86, online at: http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/13389/index.do.
 Seo-Young Cho, Axel Dreher, Eric Neumayer,“Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?” World Development, vol. 41, pp. 67–82, 2013.
 Ministry of Justice (New Zealand), “Street-Based Workers,” Report of the Prostitution Law Review Committee on the Operation of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, chap. 8, 2008, online at: http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/commercial-property-and-regulator.......
 Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Germany), Report by the Federal Government on the Impact of the Act Regulating the Legal Situation of Prostitutes (Prostitution Act), July 2007, at 79. online at: www.mvcr.cz/soubor/05-regulating-legal-situation-of-prostitutes.aspx. See also, Ministry of Security and Justice (The Netherlands), Daalder, A.L., WODC (Research and Documentation Centre), “Conclusions,” Prostitution in the Netherlands since the lifting of the brothel ban, 2007, online at: https://english.wodc.nl/onderzoeksdatabase/1204e-engelse-vertaling-.......
Most prostitutes are forced into sex work, human trafficking experts say
Experts working to assist women forced into the sex trade highlight inescapable link between human trafficking and prostitution
28 September 2018, by Massimo Costa
A number of experts spoke today at a conference on human trafficking, held at the University of Malta
Most women do not engage in sex work out of choice, and human trafficking and prostitution are issues which are invariably linked, a number of experts in this area have said.
Anna Vella, management committee member at Dar Hosea, a drop-on centre for women in prostitution, said that women rarely, if ever, go into prostitution because they want to.
Vella - speaking at a conference on human trafficking organised by the Association for Equality (A4E), Dar Hosea, and the Centre for Labour Studies at the University of Malta – said that prostitutes, the overwhelming percentage of whom are women and girls, are either slowly groomed into sex ork, or else coerced into it.
Katrine Camilleri from JRS backed Vella thoughts, saying that coercion doesn't have to mean putting a gun to someone's head.
"There are also people who come to Malta to do a legal job, but end up being forced into prostitution – and they will tell you they have no choice. So although they came to Malta of their own free will, we need to look at the invisible chains which tie people to abuse – what free choice did they really have?," Camilleri said.
No mandate to legalise brothels, parliamentary secretary says
Trafficking does not automatically mean cross-border travelling, Anna Borg from A4E said, but it involves the recruitment of persons into sexual exploitation, through violence, coercion, or making them work against their will.
“99% of human trafficking victims are women,” Borg said, “There are no current figures for Malta, but it is more common than we think. In the Netherlands, between 60% to 70% of women in prostitution are forced to do so by criminal gangs. This is demand driven – it is the money of the sex buyer which drives the traffickers.”
Demand “extremely high” in Malta
The local demand for prostitutes is “extremely high”, with new massage parlours and strip clubs opening around the island, Laura Dimitrijevic from the Women’s Right Foundation underlined.
“They are also working from flats, on the street, and online, through forums, websites and Facebook groups,” she said, describing how women who work with online escort sites receive 20 or more requests for sex from men a day.
The nationalities of prostitutes in Malta include Chinese, Moldovians, Ukranians, Russians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Colombians, Thai, Nigerians and Maltese, with their ages being as young as 14 or 15, including a case of a 14-year-old girl who had been groomed into prostitution since age 12.
Prostitution in Malta is not illegal, but soliciting and loitering is. It is also illegal to detain someone against their will for prostitution (even if they initially gave their consent), to live off another person’s prostitution earnings, and to keep a brothel and take part in its management and the receiving of profits from it.
Normalising sex trade makes it grow
Journalist Julie Bindel, who interviewed 50 sex trade survivors for a book on the issue, cautioned against normalising the sex trade through legalisation or decriminalisation, saying that the experience of a multiple countries shows this can increase the problem.
“It does not surprise me that in countries such as New Zealand, or the Netherlands, brothels have multiplied. There are more women on the street, and sex buyers have even more arrogance and a greater sense of entitlement,” she said.
Calling the legalisation of sex work a “disaster”, Bindel underlined how while the Netherlands – which lifted the brothels’ ban in 2000 – had meant to eliminate pimps, illegal drugs, under-age prostitution, and to reduce the rate of HIV, the opposite had happened.
“The Dutch window brothels are a disgrace to humanity. Do you think the women from Romania and other countries suddenly decide to work in these windows? It’s very rare to see a Dutch woman doing that work,” she remarked, ”What happened was that the main brothels are now under the control of a handful of pimps who dub themselves ‘managers’.”
Nordic model preferable to New Zealand one
Bindel said that if one looked at the different models for dealing with prostitution, the Nordic model was clearly superior to the one adopted by New Zealand.
The Nordic model, which originated is Sweden, decriminalises all those who are prostituted, provides support services to help them exit, and makes buying people for sex a criminal offence, in order to reduce the demand that drives sex trafficking.
Bindel emphasised that decriminalisation would not tackle the problem for women. “We have to get women out of the sex trade and stop the consumers from being entitled,” she said.
No person who is selling sex should be criminalised – it is an abhorrence that we should criminalise someone who is being victimised and prostituted – doing this and ignoring the demand is an international disgrace – this has to stop,” Bindel added.
A4E representative Marie Therese Gatt also argued for the Nordic model, stressing how the situation in New Zealand had seriously deteriorated after prostitution was fully decriminalised.
“In New Zealand, they managed to make prostitution a prolific legal business. But after five years, an 11-member review board found the situation was actually made worse, and now it’s deteriorated even further,” she said.
Prostitution laws should follow Nordic model, says PD
Party says prostitution is a form of gender-based violence
Sept 9 2017
Malta should make it a crime to pay for sex while decriminalising those who are prostituted, the Democratic Party has said.
In a statement, PD joined the ranks of activists calling for the country to adopt the so-called Nordic model of prostitution, which seeks to deter demand for paid sex while making it easier for sex workers to receive social support and help to find alternative work.
The government has said that it is open to reforming existing prostitution laws, although it has not said what form revised laws should take.
PD said prostitution was a form of gender-based violence, and that complete legalisation would exacerbate problems rather than solving them.
READ: Women's Council says no to legalised prostitution
"Research indicates that those involved in prostitution usually do so either due to underlying problems such as previous sexual abuse, coercion, drug or usury problems or as a pragmatic economic response to a limited number of options," the party said.
They noted that sex workers were often vulnerable, poor and subjective to physical and emotional violence, and that prostitution was closely linked to human and drug trafficking.
TIMES TALK: Legalisation doesn't work, argues women's rights lawyer
PD argued that introducing a Nordic legal model should involve a public awareness campaign to discourage demand for sex workers, as well as specialised training for police and the judiciary and strategies through JobsPlus to help sex workers find alternative jobs.
They insisted that the prostitution of minors had to be heavily penalised, even if the age of consent was lowered from 18.
The party invited any interested individuals or organisations that support human rights and oppose gender-based violence to send in their feedback on email@example.com.
Absolutely horrifying — a university is grooming freshmen into prostitution!
How to be a sex worker — advice for freshers
A stand at a Brighton University event offered new students tips on how to be prostitutes
The Sunday Times, Sept 30, 2018
“A university has been accused of encouraging its students into prostitution after hosting a stand at its freshers’ fair advising new undergraduates how to be sex workers.
Alongside the hockey team and Amnesty International, the freshers’ fair at Brighton University last week also included a stand run by the Sex Workers’ Outreach Project (Swop) Sussex, which calls itself an “advocacy” and advice service “representing student sex workers”.
Swop tweeted last week: “1 in 6 students does sex work or thinks about turning to sex work. We can help.”
The group publishes leaflets offering tips on how to be a prostitute, reassuring those who are considering it: “You cannot be prosecuted for just selling sex . . . it is not illegal to work as an escort or to sell sexual services.”
The leaflets offer a wide range of advice on techniques for “safer escorting”, including: “If you don’t have anyone to look out for you, fake it! Make your punter think that someone else knows where you are. Pretend to make a call . . . to make it look like you are confirming your arrival . . . put men’s shoes or clothes out.”
Free condoms and lubricant were available at the freshers’ fair stand and students as young as 18, many of them away from home for the first time, were invited to “come and play on our wheel of sexual wellbeing”, with prizes including underwear.
Last month, on the day A-level results were announced, the group tweeted: “Look out for us at . . . Freshers Fairs for information and advice around #studentlife and #sexwork.”
Swop defended its presence at freshers’ events, saying in a tweet, later deleted: “Rising living and tuition costs mean that more students than ever are turning to sex work and Swop believe that they deserve our help as well. Sex work is work.”
It added that it did not “idealise” or encourage sex work but offered “support and advice without judgment”.
However, one feminist activist, Sarah Ditum, said: “This is essentially a grooming operation, pitching prostitution as a manageable, desirable lifestyle, equivalent to joining the rowing club.
“It is preying on the naivety of young students. It is incredibly irresponsible to promote an industry that is the cause of massive violence and exploitation against women as if it was the same as working in a bar.”
Soliciting remains a criminal offence and a conviction has the potential to limit students’ future careers, or end them entirely if they are studying subjects such as law. It is also illegal for people under 18 to sell sex, even though the age of consent is 16.
Prostitution can be a highly risky occupation. In a 2001 study by the British Medical Journal, half of women engaged in street prostitution in three UK cities, and a quarter of prostitutes working indoors, reported having been subjected to violence by clients in the previous six months.
Swop is part of a charity, the Brighton Oasis Project, which last year received more than £150,000 from public bodies including the NHS, Brighton & Hove city council, the Home Office and other government departments, plus a further £400,000 from the national lottery.
A 2015 study by Swansea University found that nearly 5% of students had been a sex worker at some point in their lives, and more than 20% had considered sex work to help pay their bills.
However, senior academics at Sussex University, including Alison Phipps, a professor of gender studies, oppose what Phipps called “contemporary feminist opposition to the sex industry”, which involves an “emotionally loaded” attack on sex workers’ rights.
In response to the controversy triggered by Swop’s presence at freshers’ fairs, Phipps sent a tweet thanking the group for the “great work you do”.
Brighton University’s freshers’ fair was organised by its students’ union. Tomi Ibukun, president of the union, said: “Swop was at our freshers’ fair event to raise awareness of the specialist support they provide should it ever be needed.
“They were not there to advocate sex work as an option to our new students. It is unfortunate that some people have misinterpreted the attendance of Swop at our freshers’ fair.””
Normalising sex work benefits pimps and traffickers
Framing prostitution as simply another choice young women make is dangerous and degrading
Meghan Murphy, 11 October 2018
This year’s freshers fair at the University of Brighton offered up a new fun way to meet people and get involved in campus life: prostitution. Last week, while students perused various societies and sports clubs they could join to upgrade their college experience, they would also have come across the Sex Workers’ Outreach Project (SWOP) stall, which offered condoms, as well as tips for young women (let’s call a spade a spade – young men were not the assumed future ‘sex workers’ SWOP was targeting) who might choose to sell sex as a means to support their studies.
“Come and see SWOP today at @SussexUni Brighton Life and Wellbeing Fair. If you’re topping up your fees with sex work, or struggling to balance work and studies, or want to talk and don’t know where to go… we’re here for you. We respect your autonomy, privacy and confidentiality,” SWOP Sussex at Brighton Oasis Project tweeted last Tuesday.
While SWOP claims to be neutral, there to offer “offer support and advice without judgment” to “student sex workers”, the real impact of their presence on campus is much darker.
SWOP is primarily a lobby group, advocating for the full decriminalisation of the sex trade. While all feminists fight to decriminalise those who sell sex, as they believe women and girls should not be punished for having been exploited or abused, organisations like SWOP want to decriminalise the exploiters — pimps, johns, and brothel owners. They argue that the only danger of prostitution lies in stigma, and that, therefore, the solution is to normalise prostitution as just a job like any other — no more harmful or exploitative than serving a cup of coffee.
Because of this party line, the often abusive — and violent — behaviour of pimps, johns, and brothel owners goes uncriticised. These men are simply ‘clients’ and respectable business owners. The truth is, of course, that countries that have taken this route, and fully legalised prostitution, have seen an increase in trafficking and exploitation. Reporting on the impact of legalisation in Germany, Spiegel Online cites a Family Ministry report that found working conditions for women in prostitution had worsened as a result. In Holland, Julie Bindel has reported that legalisation made it safer for the traffickers and organised crime to operate, but that the women are no better off. “Abuse suffered by the women is now called an ‘occupational hazard’, like a stone dropped on a builder’s toe”, she writes.
The stigma that was meant to magically disappear under legalisation also failed to manifest. Well, to be fair, the stigma for men who pay for sex or who profit through exploiting women in the sex industry has been drastically reduced. Prostituted women, on the other hand, remain as traumatised, ashamed, and as desperate to leave the trade as ever. This is because, of course, the vast majority of women and girls who enter into prostitution don’t do so out of eagerness to have sex with countless strangers, day in and day out, but out of desperation — a lack of options. The people who benefit from legalisation and normalisation are men, not women.
SWOP’s stall at the freshers fair did not highlight the level of violence and misogyny women are subjected to in the sex trade – they kept things light.
Yet this is anything but light. If women have to perform sex acts for strange men in exchange for an education, society is broken. A supportive response to this reality — if indeed it is a reality (SWOP claims “one in six students does sex work or thinks about turning to sex work”) — should not be to facilitate it, but to work to ensure women are able to access degrees without having to resort to selling sex.
In the past, such a revelation would have shocked the general public. Most people would have recoiled at the idea of women trading blow jobs for BAs. But today, thanks to organisations like SWOP and legions of young, middle class social media activists – raised on a diet of third wave feminism that says women’s choices are always empowering, no matter what, and that opinions to the contrary belong only to those with cobwebs in their vaginas and bibles on their bedside – the tide has turned.
Over the past couple of decades, discussing ‘victimisation’ has fallen out of fashion. Because women should aspire to be empowered, independent beings, we are no longer supposed to acknowledge that women and girls around the world continue to have less-than-liberated existences. It’s almost as though we gave up on the notion that we could escape the clutches of porn culture, and a world in which rape and sex are conflated, so instead opted to positive-think our way out.
If we simply reframe stripping as a fun and sexy way to stay in shape and bond with other women, maybe we can forget about the message it sends to men about what women’s roles are. If we start calling prostitution “sex work”, maybe it really is just a job like any other, and the choice between becoming a lawyer or an escort becomes only a matter of personal preference.
Rather than challenge the sex trade, or view it as something that epitomises and normalises women’s objectification in society, modern liberals have taken to defending “sex workers’ rights”, chanting mantras like “sex work is work!” But while prostituted women do indeed deserve rights, like anyone else, these progressive-sounding lines distract us from the truth of the sex trade – not just that it is exceedingly violent, but that it also conveys a dark message about how too many men see women. Even in a non-violent exchange, paying another person to have sex with you should not be acceptable. Sex should be mutually desired by, and enjoyable to, both parties.
An ethical, empathetic person wouldn’t want to have sex with someone who didn’t want to be there — who felt repulsed or dehumanized by the experience. Yet, while we insist – via “consent education” campaigns and the #MeToo movement – that the only sex we should be having is the kind that everyone involved is enthusiastic about, we are simultaneously sending young people the message that one-sided, coerced sex is OK as long as money exchanges hands. That’s not a message we should be comfortable with.
Framing ‘sex work’ as simply another choice young women make, like whether to major in political science or biology, misses the point. The conversation we should be having is not about whether or not women choose or enjoy prostitution, but why we live in a world in which it is acceptable for men to pay for it.
Man charged in connection to prostitution, human trafficking ring in Delta, B.C.
By Sean Boynton Online News Producer Global News
A former Delta resident is facing multiple charges in connection to a possible human trafficking and prostitution operation, Delta police announced Friday.
Mohammed Sharif Begg, a 35-year-old Coquitlam resident, has been charged with six counts related to human trafficking and prostitution, as well as one count of assault. He made his first court appearance on Wednesday, shortly after his arrest.
Police said they were first notified of the operation in May 2017, when a North Delta resident alerted them to a home in the area that was being used for prostitution, and that the women involved were underage.
One of the teen girls involved in the operation was later removed and placed in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development and a guardian. As the investigation progressed, police said, two other girls were identified, one of whom was also underage.
That second underage girl later died of a drug overdose before she could be placed into care, police said, adding the girl who was successfully removed is doing “quite well.”
The human trafficking charges stemmed from information that women were being transported between Metro Vancouver and Calgary. Further investigation has so far been unable to turn up information on those involved with the operation in Calgary.
Another person was identified as a perpetrator of the prostitution ring along with Begg, but died before an arrest could be made. Police said the individual, who has not been identified, likely died due to “lifestyle” and that Begg was not involved.
Police are now calling on anyone else involved in the operation to contact them immediately.
READ MORE: Vancouver man sentenced to more than 10 years for pimping nine girls
“If there’s any more victims or people who had any negative contact with Mr. Begg or his associate to come forward and provide us with information,” said Staff Sgt. Heath Newton with the Delta Police Investigations Bureau.
Begg is set to make further court appearances this month. Police said more charges could be laid if more victims come forward.
Human trafficking in Canada strongly linked to violence against Indigenous women, girls, inquiry told
ST. JOHN’S, N.L.
The Canadian Press, October 15, 2018
Police say human trafficking is strongly linked to high rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls, but there are major knowledge gaps that keep pervasive trafficking activities hidden in plain sight.
RCMP assistant commissioner Joanne Crampton told the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls on Monday that current statistics on human trafficking fall short of capturing the scope of the issue.
Crampton presented data showing 455 known cases involving human trafficking specific charges between 2005 and 2017, but she said there’s a huge gap between those numbers and the reality.
“I think it’s a huge under-reported number,” Crampton said. “We’re very confident that those stats are not anywhere near what the real picture would be.”
The inquiry is holding its final hearings this week in St. John’s, N.L., with experts providing testimony on sexual exploitation, human trafficking and sexual violence.
Crampton touched on the challenges of policing when it comes to human trafficking in Canada, citing a lack of accurate data stemming from under-reporting and the vulnerabilities of Indigenous women to exploitation.
The data available on trafficking is broken down in some cases by age and gender, but does not include information on the victims’ race.
Crampton said this is one of many gaps in the current picture of human trafficking in Canada, a wide-reaching phenomenon the RCMP is aware of, but doesn’t have accurate data to back up.
Crampton explained that human trafficking has only been a crime under Canada’s criminal code since 2005, and since then the law has been “very under-utilized” by law enforcement and the judicial system.
She said many cases, if they are detected, the cases are classified as assault instead of trafficking.
Crampton stressed the necessity of collaboration across multiple police jurisdictions in tackling trafficking cases, and said she hopes the inquiry’s final report will help with the current issue of under-reporting.
Insp. Tina Chalk testified about her work training the Ontario Provincial Police to recognize the signs of trafficking, saying she likely missed instances of it earlier in her career because she couldn’t detect the signs and didn’t ask victims about their experiences.
“I’ve spoken to many of my colleagues, and they think the same thing. We probably missed it,” Chalk said.
Chalk said there have been definite gaps in the OPP’s training, saying she thinks there has been insufficient training around the vulnerabilities of Indigenous populations.
One piece of new training meant to address these gaps involves making police officers aware they should look for signs of trafficking in unexpected places like routine traffic stops.
Chalk discussed how experiences with poverty, isolation, past abuses and encountering racism make victims especially vulnerable to trafficking, and addressed the role of the Internet in luring people.
She mentioned educational initiatives for people in other occupations who often come in contact with trafficking situations, like truck drivers, hospitality workers and health care workers, so they can more easily detect the warning signs.
Chalk also addressed the importance of improving the relationship between Indigenous people and the police.
She said educating the public about the realities of human trafficking is essential so victims understand that what is happening to them is a crime, but acknowledged that trust in law enforcement must be built so victims feel comfortable coming forward.
“Police trust is absolutely lacking,” Chalk said. “That’s a long road and that’s a road that police are responsible for.”
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary police chief Joe Boland spoke about building trust in the St. John’s police force and efforts to tackle officers’ unconscious bias against Indigenous people.
Boland discussed instances of the police failing Indigenous women in St. John’s, citing one story he read about an Indigenous woman trying to report an assault and being turned away by police.
Boland said he’s trying to change the culture of his police force with a zero-tolerance policy towards exploitation of vulnerable people, including Indigenous people.
“I expect our officers will make mistakes, but to make mistakes trying to do the right thing,” Boland said.
“If you come to work and you think you’re going to abuse the uniform that you wear and your position of authority, then I will do everything in my power to rid the organization of you.”
Juanita Dobson, Ontario’s assistant deputy attorney general, spoke about her government’s recent efforts to assist trafficking victims, like a program launched earlier this year offering free legal help for people bringing a restraining order against a human trafficker.
Dobson said the Ontario government is in the early stages of developing services for victims, and said more understanding of the issue is necessary to helping victims.
Commissioner Michele Audette opened the day noting the historic significance of the hearings.
Audette said inquiry staff did the best they could despite the federal government’s recent rejection of the inquiry’s request for a two-year extension, opting instead for six months.
The Brutal Normality of Switzerland’s Sex Market
Oct 30, 2018
It is 8 a.m. and the rain is coming down in sheets and bouncing off the pavements. The streets are empty except for a dozen women and their pimps. Rue Sismondi, in the heart of the Pâquis district of Geneva, is known for prostitution, drugs and gang violence. It is also home to a number of migrant populations, and often referred to as Geneva’s “global village.”
I am in Switzerland to investigate the sex trade in this liberal country, famous for its perfectionism, precision and punctuality. The Swiss reputation for having a humane asylum system—in which the state recognizes the plight of those coming to Switzerland to escape poverty, violence and degradation—flies in the face of the country’s willingness to see women sold on its streets in broad daylight. These are women from desperately poor regions, such as Moldova, Romania, West Africa and Southeast Asia. The sex trade has been legal in Switzerland since 1942, and its prostitution laws and policies suggest that some forms of slavery are more acceptable than others among its supposedly liberal citizens.
One of the pimps, a young man wearing low-slung jeans and a baseball cap, greets me with a jolly “Bonjour, Madame!” while waving at a man driving a police car. There are regular spot checks by police in the street prostitution areas, but I am told they are checking for drug dealers and ignoring the sexual predators looking for women to buy.
View of a street in the Pâquis prostitution zone of Geneva. (Julie Bindel)
Geneva is the second largest city in Switzerland but has a population of just 200,000. Home to the United Nations, Red Cross and World Health Organization, Geneva is not just a popular tourist location but an important hub for business, trade and political visitors. Well over 2 million people visit the city every year. Many of them are male sex tourists.
I have been researching and writing about the global sex trade for 20 years and have visited numerous countries around the world to do so. But nowhere have I encountered such normalization of prostitution as I saw in Geneva—not even in Germany or the Netherlands.
Until 2013, it was perfectly legal for johns here to pay for sex with 16-year-old girls. That year, however, Parliament raised the legal age to 18, in line with other Western European countries, after pressure from feminists and child protection advocates.
In 2014, inmates of La Paquerette (a social therapy department for prisoners) were allowed to visit prostituted women in a local detention center near Geneva.
In 2016, businessman Bradley Charvet applied to his local municipality in Geneva for a license to open a “fellatio cafe”; Charvet is also involved with the Switzerland-based pimping website Facegirl. The cafe idea has not yet progressed to a venture, but the application stated that for 50 Swiss francs ($50), a customer could choose a woman from photographs on an iPad, then order her to give him a blow job with his cappuccino.
Plenty of organizations and individuals in Switzerland support this laissez-faire approach to prostitution. The largest direct service provider in Geneva, Aspasie, is a Red Umbrella-affiliated organization, which means it supports the decriminalization of the sex trade and is opposed to the abolitionist approach to tackle demand.
There is nowhere in the world where street prostitution has been legalized. However, in Geneva and Zurich, as well as elsewhere in Switzerland, selling sex on the streets is both tolerated and accepted. There are unofficial zones in Geneva where pimps know to take the women and where johns know to go to stalk their prey. The off-street sex trade is also prolific, with numerous brothels, massage parlors and saunas offering women for sale. Unless a complaint is made by a member of the public, the police turn a blind eye.
* * *
On my arrival in Geneva, I stop for something to eat in the gay area, only a short walk from my hotel in the heart of the red light district. I notice a table of lesbians sitting outside, smoking and laughing. As I finish my meal, they beckon me over to join them for a drink. I tell them what I am doing in the city and ask what they know about the local prostitution scene. They are involved with an LGBT rights organization and explain that some of the young gay men in the city are involved in the sex trade. I ask what they think about legalized prostitution and whether it works in Switzerland. “It used to be OK,” says Emma, a civil servant who grew up in the city. “But I understand that those were the days when local women sold sex. Today the problem comes with trafficking. Most of the women are from Romania and other such countries.”
Genevieve tells me that she thinks legalization is the “only way” to properly handle the sex trade: “Why shouldn’t it be treated like any other business?” She says that people in Switzerland consider themselves liberal and tolerant. I wonder if they know exactly what they are tolerating.
After watching activities in the prostitution area in the early hours, I head off the next morning to Venusia, an infamous brothel on the outskirts of town, to request an interview with Madame Lisa, a regular spokeswoman for the benefits of legalized prostitution. The street that houses the brothel is gray, ugly and near a busy road. As I approach the main entrance, two men walk out laughing, one making a sexual gesture to the woman waving them goodbye.
The brothel owner is not in the building, but I am taken into the reception area and asked to leave my name and contact details. I am told that Lisa will be in touch as soon as she returns. It is not quite midday and already the brothel is busy. Several women walk past me in the reception area, some coming to meet johns and others going into the private area beyond. It is difficult to tell the age of some of the women, but certainly none is over 25. Some are significantly younger. Most appear to be North African or Romanian.
Two doors away from Venusia is a smaller brothel. I would have missed it were it not for the john leaving the building, zipping up his jeans. “Au revoir!” shouts the young woman at the door, wearing a corset and impossibly high spiked heels. As she walks back in, I hear her mutter, “Connard.” It means asshole.
I press the intercom as I read the menu on the window. One hundred thirty Swiss francs ($132) buys full sex with two different women, plus a side order of fellatio. I tell the receptionist I am a reporter investigating legalization in Switzerland and ask if anyone would be interested in speaking to me. Both she and the women working there decline.
I have been told by a couple who run a Christian support service for prostituted women in Geneva to visit a Thai restaurant in the Paquis district, which is frequented by pimps and the women they sell. “They [the pimps] will talk to you,” says my contact. “Especially if they think there’s any money in it for them.” He is right. When I arrive at the restaurant at lunch time, the place is almost full—mainly with women wearing coats over classic street prostitution attire: hot pants, micro skirts, boob tubes and “hooker boots.” The women appear to be of a number of ethnicities, including Eastern European and West African. The men are almost all of North African appearance and under the age of 30.
“You want anything, lady?” asks one of the women, her accent strongly Eastern European. “She want something, she can come to me,” says one of the young men, meeting my eye and holding my gaze. “Anything here you like?” he asks me.
Taking advantage of the fact that I am suspected of being a potential sex buyer, I move into my cover story. “I am not here for myself but for my son,” I say. “He has been paralyzed since he was 15 and can’t have sex. He is desperate to have a normal experience with a woman, and I wanted to bring him somewhere where paying for sex is nothing unusual and not illegal.”
I say that my son attends a college in Geneva and that I can bring him to meet one of the women at her convenience. I ask how much it will cost. “Depends on what you want,” says the pimp. “A girlfriend? A fuck? Something special? There are different prices for different girls. Does he want a black one? I can get him a black one.” The pimp introduces himself as Ali, but I figure that’s not his real name. I tell him I will come back and see him after talking to my son about it.
Ali stares at me as I leave the cafe. I feel very uncomfortable. “Don’t go to the street looking for a woman; they all have diseases,” he says. “Mine are all tested. Every month I take them to the clinic and I pay. If you want, you can see their certificates. And these ones have proper documents. Some of the girls don’t even have passports.”
* * *
I walk around Rue Sismondi, the most notorious street for prostitution in the area. It is still raining, although less heavily, and at least 15 women stand on corners or walk up and down looking for trade. I see a commuter in a suit wander up to a very young-looking woman. He stands under her umbrella and smokes a cigarette. The john removes his wallet and points to the alley to the left, which is home to a large “gentleman’s club.” There are red velvet chairs in the windows, and posters showing women in bikinis lining the walls. It looks like a clip joint: an old-style brothel that sells overpriced alcohol, with the pimps regularly extorting money from the sex buyers. Several barely dressed women are sitting on red velvet thrones with a red light shining behind them. I ask the security man hovering outside the door what kind of a venue it is. He tells me it is for “les hommes à venir se détendre”—for “men to come to relax.”
* * *
That night I meet a contact who, for several years, has worked for one of the major human rights organizations based in the city. This person would not only lose his/her job if exposed as a whistleblower, but also would be vilified by colleagues and possibly blacklisted from other jobs within the sector. Under strict instruction not to reveal his/her identity, my contact gives me horrifying details of the prolific sexual exploitation perpetrated by so-called human rights officials within the city.
The whistleblower, whom I will call Jay, tells me that “Friday night is known as ‘ho’ night” within the office of this large organization. “The men in my team literally brag about going to prostitutes,” Jay says. “One of the roles in the team is to raise awareness about trafficking and irregular migration, but these guys go out and abuse them without any thought.”
Jay once confronted a colleague who was bragging in the office about a night he had enjoyed with an “oversexed Romanian,” laughing with another male employee that he was terrified his “dick would drop off.”
Jay asked how the man knew that she was not trafficked or pressured into prostitution. “We don’t have sex with the trafficked ones, just the ones that want to be there,” was the reply. “How do you know whether they are trafficked?” Jay persisted. “We ask them,” he said.
Jay tells me about an instance when several colleagues visited a brothel en masse. “They were bragging that five of them had sex with one woman in this place, and that she could not speak any English. When they were leaving, the woman was crying. One of the men said, without any [self-awareness] whatsoever, that she was probably upset because she wanted one of us to take her home.”
The regular profile of a trafficking victim, Jay says, is that of a young woman who has been promised a good salary, a work permit and the reimbursement of travel costs by an agent in her home country. The reputation of Switzerland as a democratic country with a good human rights record inspires trust in many women from Eastern Europe.
Jay tells me of planning to report these men to a senior manager, adding: “If I lose my job, I will take them to court. But I can’t sit back and let this continue.”
There is very little research on the numbers of men who pay for sex in Switzerland, but one 2008 study found that almost one-quarter (23 percent) of men between the ages of 17 and 45 have done so at least once. I meet Robert, who owns a small business and is originally from Paris. “I didn’t visit brothels when I lived in France,” he says. “But in Geneva, it is acceptable and almost even respectable. The [prostitutes] do things that are not considered nice for wives and girlfriends to do.”
I ask Robert why he pays for sex, aside from being able to demand oral and anal sex from the women, and he tells me something I have heard from johns countless times in numerous countries. “If I take a girl out,” he says, “buy her dinner and do all the flirting and things, but at the end of the evening she tells me she doesn’t want sex, I have wasted my time and a lot of money. So why don’t I just go straight for the sex? That way, she has earned good money and I am happy.”
The legal definition of prostitution in Geneva is “the act of selling sex.” The buyer is invisible, both in legislation and public awareness. Trafficking is increasing, but, according to johns such as Jay’s colleagues and Robert, the assumption is that these women somehow pinpoint Geneva from their tiny villages in Senegal, Hungary, the Dominican Republic, Thailand or Ukraine and flock here to work in the sex trade. Switzerland has some of the most stringent immigration and labor laws in the world, but these women, johns seem to think, miraculously manage to get Swiss “work” permits and then choose prostitution over every other possible source of revenue.
Taina Bien-Aimé is co-director of the Coalition against Trafficking in Women (CATW), a New York City-based international nongovernmental organization. “The Swiss government’s indifference to the suffering of trafficked and prostituted women is abhorrent,” says Bien-Aimé , who was raised in Geneva. “Officials hide behind the notion of choice and a woman’s consent to being bought and sold in the Swiss sex trade. But it would not take rigorous investigations to uncover that a disenfranchised young Nigerian woman from Edo state, for example, would have difficulty finding Zurich or Geneva on a map, let alone purchasing a one-way ticket to a brothel or a ‘sex box’ without a trafficker or pimp owning her fate.”
* * *
Trafficking is a much bigger problem in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand, which have legalized, or “normalized,” sex trades, than in those that have adopted the Nordic model, in which the sex buyer is criminalized and the prostituted person is decriminalized and assisted out of prostitution.
Switzerland is a primary destination for sex traffickers in Europe. Victims originate mainly from Central and Eastern Europe, but also from Thailand, Nigeria, China, Brazil, Cameroon, the Dominican Republic and Morocco.
In recent years, the numbers have increased. The women (and, in far fewer numbers, men) operate using newspaper advertisements, cellphones and apartments rented by pimps. Some pimps accept credit cards as payment—because, after all, this is a legitimate business.
The increase in free movement of people between Switzerland and the EU is often cited as being integral to the increase of prostitution in the country. From what I saw and heard while there, however, it is more likely that because men face no consequences for paying for sex, they are more likely to do so. To meet the increasing demand, traffickers import women from poor and war-torn nations.
According to CATW, around 14,000 women are sold into the Swiss sex trade, with approximately 70 percent coming from other countries. A report estimates that 350,000 men—about 20 percent of the population—purchase sexual acts. The Swiss sex trade reaps an estimated 3.5 billion Swiss francs ($3.5 billion) in profits per year.
Across Switzerland, brothel raids turn up trafficked women from Brazil and Eastern Europe. As in other countries with legal brothels, the illegal side of prostitution does not diminish with legalization. Instead, it often grows.
A four-story brothel in Zurich. (Julie Bindel)
Switzerland legalized its sex trade almost 80 years ago—yet another piece of evidence that normalizing prostitution helps no one except pimps and other exploiters. In 2016, a trafficker was convicted of trafficking 80 women from Thailand, who were sent to brothels in the cantons of Bern, Solothurn, Lucerne, Basel, St. Gallen and Zurich. The women were kept under lock and key and forced to service numerous sex buyers to pay off enormous debts to the pimps who had transported them from their home country.
There are also significant levels of violence committed against the women by pimps and johns. One case in 2017 involved an investment banker who murdered a prostituted woman, stuffed her body in a suitcase and placed the suitcase in a wine cellar in his cellar.
Conversely, to date there has been only one murder of a prostituted person by a pimp or john in Norway, and none in the other seven countries that have criminalized paying for sex.
* * *
On the train from Geneva to Zurich, I talk to Anna, a woman in her 20s who attends a university in the capital. She asks me what I am doing in Switzerland. I tell her I am investigating the sex trade. She is instantly attentive, asking, “Does that include sugar baby stuff?”
So-called sugar-baby hook-ups are largely facilitated by the website Seeking Arrangement, which boasts more than 10 million users across 139 countries, with substantial numbers of Switzerland-based men on its books. Older men—“sugar daddies”—target young students in need of money—“sugar babies”—as “dates.” Many desperate young women even auction their virginity on the site. It is a classic example of the sanitization of the sex trade.
“I have three friends who do this,” Anna tells me on the train, looking upset. “They tell me it is not prostitution, but all of them have had sex with the men they hook up with.” The men are “much older,” and one friend described her date as “repulsive.” Anna seems worried about the safety of “sugar-dating.” Most shockingly, the university her friends attended had “dating websites” on its list of suggested casual jobs for students.
* * *
In Zurich, I stay at a hotel within walking distance of the notorious “sex performance box” zone—or, more accurately, the drive-thru outdoor brothel on the outskirts of the city, near the main railway line in Sihlquai.
As I check in, the hotel manager tells me that men often stay there to “have a good time” in the prostitution area. “They are not Swiss, maybe some English,” he tells me. “Perhaps you don’t have anything like this at home? Here we are very open about sex in Switzerland. Very liberal.”
I had been hearing about the so-called sex performance boxes since they were raised in 2011 as a potential solution to the problems inherent to street prostitution. The following year, just over half (52 percent) of citizens voted in favor of Zurich spending $2 million to set up the zone. The intention was to make street prostitution safer and reduce trafficking and other forms of violence. The boxes opened in 2013; so far, there is no evidence that trafficking or violence has been reduced.
I was told it is impossible to visit the drive-thru brothels without my own car. Later in the evening, however, as the facilities open, I ask a taxi driver who speaks good English—and who appears to be somewhat of an expert on prostitution—to drive me there and to ask the security people if I can speak with the women, or be shown around.
As the taxi driver speaks to members of the outreach team at Flora Dora, a government funded nongovernmental organization that provides condoms and safety tips to the women, I watch cars drive through, counting 22 cars entering—and several leaving—during the 15 minutes we are inside the area.
Some of the women in the outdoor brothel enclosure appear intoxicated, and many are thin and frail in appearance. Prostitution takes a terrible toll on women’s physical and mental health. One survey of 193 prostituted women in Zurich (5 percent of whom were registered with the government) found that more than 50 percent suffered psychiatric ailments such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and psychosis, as well as alcohol dependency. By comparison, 18 percent of nonprostituted women suffer psychiatric ailments.
Prices are around 50 Swiss francs for “hand relief,” full sex is $100; and anal sex is $200.
I watch as the johns drive into the small, circular park, cruise the women from their cars and then wave to whichever woman takes their fancy. The women are standing outside of door-less, alarmed buildings in which they keep their belongings and change into skimpy outfits from their “day clothes.”
Once the john has chosen a woman, she joins him in his car, and he drives into one of the teak-colored wooden garages that surround one side of the cordoned-off area. Each has space for a single car; johns on foot or bikes are not allowed in.
Sex boxes in Zurich. (Julie Bindel)
Each of the 10 boxes is lit up in red, green or yellow. A vending machine, which sells condoms, lubricant, soft drinks and chocolate bars, sits at the end of the row, next to an ATM. Posters advocating safe sex decorate the walls.
The boxes contain nothing but a panic button and a waste bin for condoms and tissues. There are no surveillance cameras for the johns to worry about. I assumed the lack of security cameras are due to the fact that johns might be scared off if they were filmed entering and leaving, but I am told by various sources that police and city officials followed advice from those running similar zones in Utrecht and elsewhere, and decided that cameras are inadequate, because a woman will already have been assaulted by the time the footage is viewed, and that an on-site security presence is the best deterrence to violence.
The prostituted women in the enclosure have access to on-site social workers, and police increase patrols around the area to protect the women when they enter and leave. Clearly, the authorities are under no illusion about the dangers inherent to prostitution, even in such a public, monitored space.
I am told that no one from Flora Dora is able to speak to me, and I am not allowed to approach either the women or the johns. I am handed the leaflets the organization gives to the prostituted women, which provide tips on how to identify violent johns. The materials are in Spanish, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Romanian.
Facilitating the “right” of men to pay for sex is an expensive business. The Swiss government spends $800,000 each year maintaining the booths, which includes the on-site security and social services.
The drive-thru brothels were deemed a great success by the Swiss during the summer. But observing the bins filled with condoms and the clinical organization of the area, all I can think about is what a lot of public money is being spent by the Swiss government in order to make it easier for men to pay for sex with financially desperate women. I wonder how many women could be supported out of prostitution with the amount of money spent so far on these facilities.
Roughly 3,000 women are registered as prostitutes in Zurich—a number that continues to increase, although rising competition among the women has led to a sharp drop in “service” prices. The Altstetten district of Zurich and one road where street prostitution was allowed was closed when the drive-thru brothel site opened, and street prostitution is illegal in most areas of the city. The same year the drive-thru brothel opened, street prostitutes in Zurich had to start buying nightly permits, at a cost of 5 francs each, from a vending machine installed in the area. In addition, since 2003, legislation has been put in place to ban “window prostitution.”
After my visit to the drive-thru brothels, the taxi driver takes me to see one of the city’s 300 registered brothels. This one is on Langstrasse (Long Street), the most notorious red-light area in the city. The four-story building has five brightly lit windows per floor, through which young women in underwear are visible. Although the women are clearly being advertised, this is different from what is known as “window prostitution,” which is distinctive in that the women are always on ground level and in single-occupancy brothels, as opposed to multiroomed premises.
“I get many customers asking me to take them there,” says my driver. “The women are out on the streets all day and night, but the ones from that house [the brothel] come out onto the street around 10 p.m. to meet customers face to face and then take them inside.” I ask if the police ever patrol the street, and he tells me, “You see them sometimes, but they are just looking for drugs or violence.”
“This is Langstrasse, very dangerous,” the taxi driver says, on seeing a group of men spill out of a sex club, drunk and shouting loudly at passers-by. “At 10 o’clock at night it’s very dangerous.”
I ask if he knows where the women on the streets are from. “They come from Poland, Italy, France and Romania, Morocco. Swiss ladies, not much.”
The taxi driver tells me that there is “definitely more” prostitution on the street, and more visible customers since the sex boxes were opened. “But it is safer for the ladies,” he says. I ask him how he knows it is safer for the women to be in the drive-thru enclosures rather than the streets. Who has he heard it from? “I don’t know if anyone told me,” he says, “but it must be.”
I head off to meet Ben (not his real name), a British police officer who until recently worked as a consultant for an anti-trafficking organization. Ben knows a lot about prostitution: He has been involved in policing what used to be known as “vice” for 30 years. He has led a number of operations to detect international pimping operations.
We talk in a busy bar close to Niederhof, the cobbled street known to be one of the main street prostitution zones. “The girls are young,” says Ben, “maybe no older than 18, 19. And they are all controlled in one way or another. The pimps are in the building every day. If they call themselves landlords, it still doesn’t alter the fact that they are living off prostitution.
Rules for johns, posted at the entrance of “sex boxes” in Zurich. (Julie Bindel)
“So Niederhof is a street prostitution area which is always busy,” Ben continues. “Even since the sex boxes. In the street it is dangerous for the girls.”
I see dozens of prostituted women, openly touting for johns on the streets. The installation of the sex boxes has clearly not done what the government promised—remove or drastically reduce street prostitution in other areas of the city.
During my time with Ben, I hear about the growth of temporary pop-up salons in subleased apartments or hotels, and Airbnb brothels. According to Ben, legalization provides the perfect cover for the illegal trade. The small owner-occupied brothels in New Zealand, for instance, do not need a license to operate, so long as no more than four individuals sell sex from the premises at any one time. In Zurich, since July 2017, mini-salons with up to two rooms in any one premise are exempt from licensing requirements. These salons are allowed in residential areas where there is currently a ban on licensed brothels.
“Let’s face it,” Ben says, “pimps know where they can make lots of money, and it isn’t going to be in Sweden.”
* * *
The most vocal campaigners for prostitution and trafficking are those who argue for blanket decriminalization of the sex trade and against the Nordic model.
For example, Aspasie is part of the pro-prostitution Global Network of Sex Work Projects, which is funded by the Open Society Foundation, brainchild of George Soros. Based in Geneva, Aspasie campaigns nationwide for the abolition of laws against pimping.
The Don Juan Project in Switzerland was developed and funded by Swiss AIDS Control. It is considered a best-practice model. The education program run by Don Juan in a number of Swiss cantons focused on condom use and “safe sex,” not on dissuading johns to stop paying for sex in the first place, a strategy that has proved successful in Nordic model countries.
Janice Raymond, in her 2013 book, “Not a Choice, Not a Job,” wrote about Don Juan’s report of its “success” with its “client re-education” project: “The wording of the Don Juan report is interesting. Of the 800 prostitution users who came into the tent and were found not to use condoms regularly when buying women in prostitution, about two-thirds said they would consider changes in their behaviour. What they weren’t asked to consider was to stop buying women in prostitution.”
But alongside other countries that have legalized their sex trade, such as the Netherlands, Germany and some states in Australia, the feminist abolitionist movement is beginning to emerge.
I meet Ursula Nakamura-Stoecklin at a Zurich train station. She is a retired medical professional and is involved in various women’s groups in and around Basel, which is Switzerland’s third most populous city, after Zurich and Geneva.
“The debate about sex-work versus abolition is boiling in Switzerland at the moment,” she tells me. “In some women’s groups, we dare not take it up, as it may well divide us. In June, the influential coordination of different women’s organizations by Frauenzentrale Zurich (Zurich Women’s Centre) strongly voiced the support of the Nordic model, which decriminalizes those selling sex, whilst criminalizing the johns.”
In June, this small nongovernmental organization launched its campaign for a ban on prostitution, and the introduction of the Nordic model. A video by the group has been circulated throughout Switzerland and beyond. “But still most of the media is against us,” Nakamura-Stoecklin says, “with different organizations that are pro-prostitution, [along with] police, saying it is too expensive to arrest the johns.”
It is difficult to see how much more expensive this strategy would be than the massive expense of maintaining the so-called sex boxes—which constitute merely a fraction of the sex trade across the city.
“These [pro-prostitution] organizations close their eyes to the fact that around 80 percent of the prostitutes are victims of sex trafficking,” Nakamura-Stoecklin says. “I simply cannot understand this blindness. We have one national organization, FIZ, which does an excellent job helping women to get out of the claws of traffickers. They have a specialized migrant section, which gives the women protection. But this organization is a strong advocate of prostitution by arguing that in [countries that have adopted the Nordic model], clandestine crimes against these women have increased.”
It is almost always the same story, Nakamura-Stoecklin says. “We hear it on TV and see it in the newspapers, but still people here think our system works. A poor woman from Moldova or somewhere, she wants to get a better job, be a teacher or something, and was promised a good job in Switzerland. She leaves her family in Moldova and she arrives here, and she lands in a brothel and she cannot get out. Why don’t Swiss people realize what is happening here?”
My trip to Switzerland is coming to an end. The window brothels, sex clubs, strip joints, street procurement and four-story brothels are all operating with impunity, with the numbers of women being procured into prostitution growing, and the traffickers, pimps and johns arrogantly going about their business, with little fear of condemnation or criminalization. I reflect on how little I knew previously about how prevalent and normalized the sex trade is here, despite my years of intensive research and reporting on the global sex market.
The normalization of the Swiss sex trade comes down to entrenched and long-term legalization.
The stereotype is that the Swiss like order, rules and cleanliness. But it is impossible to sanitize prostitution—no government can. The Swiss indifference to harm and violence perpetrated against women in the sex trade comes from a long official history of misogyny and sex discrimination. Swiss women gained the right to vote in federal elections in 1971, and the last canton that granted women the vote on local issues was Appenzell, in 1991. If a government resists seeing women as full human beings deserving of equal voting rights, it will certainly resist looking at the sex trade as a manifestation of inequality and violence against women.
To tackle its prostitution problems, the Swiss must look to France for its law targeting sex buyers and providing protection for prostituted women. Its other neighbor, Germany, is the worst example to follow, where legalized prostitution continues to generate massive human rights violations for the profit of the state, including dozens of murders of prostituted women since 2002.
What my anonymous contacts in the worlds of human rights and law enforcement told me during my trip left me further convinced that legalization of the sex trade results in an increase in both legal and illegal sex markets, which in turn leads to further normalization of prostitution and the devaluation of women in Switzerland. Acceptance of the sex trade is a green light to traffickers and other exploiters, and at the same time, encourages a laissez-faire attitude among the police.
“I can see why [my colleagues] have ended up convincing themselves it is OK to pay for a foreign prostitute,” Jay, from the human rights organization in Geneva, told me. “They probably think it is just the same as being served in a restaurant by a Romanian.”
In the meantime, numbers of women trafficked into and throughout Switzerland increase. The spotlight needs to be firmly on this country. So far, Switzerland has elicited the least attention and outrage from the feminist abolitionist movement than anywhere else in the world.
For all that Switzerland presents itself on the international stage as progressive and humanitarian, its disregard of the human rights abuses being perpetrated every day against prostituted women is nothing short of a disgrace.
Why I Resigned from the South African “Sex Work” Movement
By Author: Mickey Meji | June 12, 2018
Like many women in South Africa with first-hand experience of the sex trade, when I initially joined the Sisonke Movement of Sex Workers I was under the false impression that it was there to represent me in advocating for my rights as a woman who was selling sex. I have since found that this is not what the movement stands for at all.
I have not been associated with it for many years but was informed last week that I need to “officially resign” so it no longer counts me as part of its group. On Friday I did exactly that – as did several other women I know who have first-hand experience of prostitution.
I personally entered the sex trade out of desperation. South Africa’s colonial past, apartheid, poverty, past sexual and physical abuse and other inequalities were the context for this.
Prostitution is never a free “choice”. The majority of women who enter it here are poor black women from disadvantaged backgrounds. They did so primarily because of a lack of choice. The vast majority of women in prostitution do not view it as “work”, but rather as a tortured means of survival. Pretty much everyone wants to get out as quickly as possible.
Instead of acknowledging this harsh reality Sisonke promotes, advocates and calls for the total decriminalisation of the sex trade and its recognition as work. This means decriminalising not only people selling sex but also those who buy and exploit us and those who sell us for their financial benefit. This model has failed in New Zealand where trafficking continues to prosper, and where violence against girls and women in prostitution is concealed as it is considered to be “a job like any other”.
This ignores the mounting evidence that women in prostitution experience vast human rights violations including rape, physical violence, dehumanisation and murder by the men who buy us. We are further victimised by the pimps and brothel-owners who sell us for their financial benefit – and by the police as people who are sold for sex are still considered criminals under South African law.
The movement for total decriminalisation of the sex trade does not recognise the growing global trend in a different direction. Despite the mounting evidence that it is the only approach that has been shown to reduce violence and bring us closer to gender equality Sisonke does not support the Swedish or “Equality” Model, which decriminalises, supports and provides exiting services to those who sell sex, but simultaneously criminalises the exploitative elements – brothel-owners, pimps and buyers.
Over the last 20 years countries including Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Canada, Northern Ireland, France and Ireland have all adopted the Equality Model of sex trade policy. This has been largely in response to the efforts of sex trade survivors, supported by national and international women’s groups.
One of the biggest lies of the “sex work” movement of which Sisonke is part of is that they do not represent the best interests of women in prostitution at all. “Sex work” is a misnomer that people in prostitution do not use. It is also a very broad term and includes not only those selling or sold for sex but also every single person with any connection to the sex trade – including those who pimp and run brothels. The fact that Sisonke proposes full decriminalisation shows that it prioritises the desires of these perpetrators of abuse over those who are directly affected.
This worrying trend is not just South African. It has reared its ugly head in various places. Groups which pretend to advocate for women in prostitution – but in reality support pimps, brothel-owners and buyers – have increased their presence throughout the world. They have linked themselves with official reports from UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation, and have directly influenced the policies of non-women’s-rights advocacy organizations such as Amnesty International.
As somebody who continues to fight for the rights of women caught up in the sex trade it is devastating for me to see how our lives, safety and well-being are being compromised by those very groups who claim to represent us.
Sex trade survivors know which approach works best – the Equality Model, which was also one of the recommendations of the South African Law Reform Commission’s Report published last June.
We will no longer accept other people speaking for us and using our misfortune to benefit themselves. We are building our own global movement and we will not be silenced any longer.
Mickey Meji is the Advocacy Manager for Embrace Dignity, an organisation which works to end commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking in South Africa.