Spotlight on Sex Work

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Canadian sex industry
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From the Canadian Factbook on Global Sexual Exploitation:Prostituted women are 60-120 times more likely to be murdered than the general public. (Research by Dr. John Lowman, Paul Dillon, "Life On The Streets in Dangerous," Surrey Leader, 17 May 1998) —Murders of prostitutes in Vancouver are rising: 1960-1977 1; 1978-1980 4; 1981-1985 12; and 1986-1995 60. (Jon Lowman, Greg Middleton, "Law Blamed for Hooker Murders," The Province) —Women and children in street prostitution comprise one third of the 1,500 people in the sex industry in Montreal. (Police estimates. "Prostitutes protest police sweep" Montreal Gazette, 23 June 1998)

There are 10,000 prostitutes in the Greater Toronto Area, and more than 4,000 women are in the escort trade. One hour costs a minimum of $150, with half usually going to the agency. Women escorts are "busiest" during corporate conventions held in the area. A recent trend is for women to operate as "independents" that book their own dates and run ads on the Internet. (Detective Mark Marple of Peel Region Police Nick Pron, "Dating Services Bring Boom Times to Prostitution," Toronto Star, 1997) —Seventy to 80 percent of those involved in the Canadian sex industry began as children. And 80 to 95 percent are fleeing sexual abuse that usually began at home. (Kimberly Daum, "Sexually Exploitated Children in Canada: The Law is Not on Their Side," Opinion/Essays, 17 October 1996) —In Canada, the escort industry takes in an estimated $500 million annually. (Toronto Star investigation, Nick Pron, "Dating Services Bring Boom Times to Prostitution," Toronto Star, 1997) —Hundreds of children under 17 years old work in the sex industry in Vancouver. Middle-aged male buyers are increasingly seeking girls as young as 11. The police are not trusted by the children, who have targeted them for arrests rather than the perpetrators. (Child advocates, Mark Clayton, "To Curb Vancouver’s Big Trade in Child Sex, Police Nab ‘Johns’," Christian Science Monitor, 1997) —Children in prostitution are criminally charged 59 times more often than are the male buyers in Vancouver. In six years, only 6 men were charged in Vancouver for buying children in prostitution. Two were convicted. During the same time period, 354 children were charged for involvement in prostitution. (Vancouver: Predator and Pedophile Paradise, a study by John Turvey, executive director of Downtown Eastside Youth Activities Society, Mark Clayton, "To Curb Vancouver’s Big Trade in Child Sex, Police Nab ‘Johns’," Christian Science Monitor, 1997) —Under a new program in Vancouver, Canada, 30 percent of first time offenders of solicitation for prostitution are eligible to attend the "john school" instead of prosecution. This proposal seeks to curb male solicitation before it becomes repeat behavior. Men will pay Canada $400 to attend the "school" instead of a fine. (Shane McCune, "Police board Oks ‘john school’ idea," Vancouver Province, 26 June 1998)



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