Canada Strikes Down Anti-Prostitution Laws; 10 Other Countries Where Prostitution Is Legal

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Technically, prostitution already wasn't illegal in Canada. But in our logical neighbor's backyard, there were a lot of related activities that were classified as criminal offenses. On Friday, Canada's Supreme Court struck down anti-prostitution laws altogether — including rules against keeping a brothel. The Supreme Court decision found that the anti-prostitution laws violated Canada's guarantee to life, liberty, and security of the person. (Well there's the fundamental difference between our two countries.)

"[The ruling is] an unbelievably important day for the sex workers but also for human rights,” said Katrina Pacey, a lawyer for a group of downtown Vancouver prostitutes. “The court recognized that sex workers have the right to protect themselves and their safety."

Unfortunately for activists who view this new ruling as a major breakthrough, the law will not take effect immediately. It still gives Canadian Parliament a one-year reprieve to come up with new legislation in response, and until then, all prostitution activities and offenses will remain in the Criminal Code.

But Canada's not alone in decriminalizing sex work. Click on to see some of the many other countries (besides the Netherlands, everyone knows that one) which have legalized prostitution.

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