Perspectives on Legal Responses to the Sex Trade
The Shirley Greenberg Chair in Women and the Legal Profession will present two events during the 2016-17 academic year showcasing a variety of perspectives on legal responses to the sex trade. Faculty members, staff, students, alumni and the broader University of Ottawa community hold very different opinions on the appropriate legal response to the sex trade in Canada, reflecting a spectrum of positions from abolitionism to de-criminalisation or legalisation. These events are intended to provide a venue for the respectful expression and debate of opinions along this spectrum.
The first event will take place in the fall term, on September 22nd, 2016, and will feature three speakers whose positions reflect a diversity of abolitionist perspectives. The second event, planned for Feb. 22nd, 2017, will reflect a variety of legalisation and de-criminalisation perspectives. The order of these events is dictated by the availability of the speakers, and does not reflect a hierarchy of ideas.
One of the most important roles of a university is to create an environment for the free, respectful expression and exchange of ideas. At the Faculty of Law we aim to foster a space of inquiry, learning, debate and exchange. These two events are designed to educate the members of the law school community on the relevant debates, and to provide a forum for respectful questioning and discussion.
Below you will find a series of links to information on the spectrum of proposed legal responses to the sex trade.
Amnesty International’s research and policy work on decriminalization (set in an international context).
Emily Bazelon writes about the history of difficult feminist discussions on the sex trade.
Janine Benedet offers an abolitionist perspective.
The Open Society Foundations offers Ten Reasons to Decriminalize Sex Work.
The Social Action and Executive Committees of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies passed an abolitionist resolution.