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Asian Women for Equality Speaks to Ontario Superior Court: Constitutional Challenge

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

On Friday, October 7, 2022, Asian Women for Equality will intervene at Ontario Superior Court in the case Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform v Canada. Asian Women for Equality will support the constitutionality of Canada’s prostitution laws which came into effect as the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act in December 2014.

The Canadian criminal code targets and criminalizes pimps, recruiters, sex-buyers, and marketing platforms that promote prostitution as a service. The law also recognizes the vulnerability and pressures that push women into prostitution and immunizes them from criminal charges. In this way, law enforcement resources are to be focused on challenging and reducing the demand side of prostitution.

“The law recognizes the impact of sexism and racism in creating the conditions that empower pimps, prostitution recruiters and sex buyers while disempowering women, particularly racialized and poor women,” says Alice Lee, a member of Asian Women for Equality. The group contends that the law is constitutional and requires better enforcement.

Additionally, Asian Women for Equality will assist the Court to understand the negative impact of prostitution advertising which relies on and promotes deeply racist and sexist stereotypes. Advertising or marketing the sexual services of another is criminalized, thereby interfering with rampant commercialization of prostitution.

Asian Women for Equality is represented by lawyers Nerissa Yan and Jennifer Flood.

About Asian Women for Equality

Asian Women for Equality is a secular feminist organization working as a progressive

force to change societal attitudes towards women, especially women of Asian descent. The group resists the normalization of prostitution in Canadian society.

For further comment:

To read more about our legal arguments, download the factum of the intervener Asian Women for Equality in Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Reform vs Canada:

2022 Factum of Asian Women for Equality - CASWLR v Canada
Download • 250KB

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