Press Release: The Supreme Court of Canada granted The Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution leave to intervene in the Bedford Case.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Women’s Equality Groups intend to bring a unique position on Prostitution

to the Supreme Court of Canada


(OTTAWA) May 1, 2013 – In 6 weeks the Supreme Court of Canada will conduct its hearing regarding Canada’s prostitution laws. The Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution has been granted leave to intervene in the case. The Women’s Coalition will bring a feminist analysis of prostitution as both an expression and reinforcement of women’s inequality to the highest court of Canada.

The Attorney General of Canada’s position is that the court should maintain the status quo, keeping the laws on the books as they are.  Bedford, et al’sposition is that the court should strike down all three laws.  The Women’s Coalition, however, holds a third position and will argue that the court should consider an asymmetrical approach to the application of the existing laws that differentiates between the victims of prostitution and the exploiters of prostitution.

The Women’s Coalition will argue to the Supreme Court of Canada that since the vast majority of women enter prostitution due to conditions of economic, social and racial inequality; laws that criminalize women involved in prostitution must be removed. However, laws that prevent men from buying, selling and profiting from prostituted women are important protections that must be retained.

Leading up to the hearing at the Supreme Court of Canada, the Women’s Coalition’s national campaign We Want More Than Prostitution for Women is calling for the abolition of inequality, poverty and prostitution.  More information on the campaign can be found here.

The members of the Women’s Coalition for the Abolition of Prostitution:

CASAC/ACCCACS – Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres/ Association canadienne des centres contre le viol

NWAC – Native Women's Association of Canada

CAEFS – Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies

RQCALACS – Regroupement québécois des centres d'aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel

CLES – Concertation des luttes contre l'exploitation sexuelle

Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter

AOcVF – Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes



Media contact:

Vancouver - Hilla Kerner, 604-872-8212, [email protected]

Ottawa – Candice Pilgrim,  613-866-6875, [email protected]