Prostitution bill amendment would keep solicitation away from schools, playgrounds

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 8:23 PM ET

OTTAWA — The federal government has narrowed its prostitution bill to ban sex workers from plying their trade anywhere near "schools, day cares or playgrounds."

The original wording kept solicitation away from anywhere children could be "reasonably" expected to be, which sex workers, their advocates and lawyers argued was too broad and could have the potential effect of criminalizing the prostitutes, something the bill specifically did not want to do.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Justice Minister, Bob Dechert told a justice committee the amendment was in sex workers' best interest by allowing them to work from their own homes.

"Please choose to do it in a safe way," he said. "We're giving you that power; the police are not going to harass you for being in your own apartment or advertising your own services."

The controversial bill proposes to criminalize the purchase of sex but not its sale.

 

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