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Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act and the Equality Model

Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act and the Equality May 17, 2022

Key Points:

  1. Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA) – Is an Act to amend the Criminal Code in response to the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Attorney General of Canada v Bedford and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. It is based on the Equality Model.

  2. The Equality Model (also known as the Nordic and Swedish Model) - Is based upon creating equality by prioritizing the rights of those that are being exploited while holding to account those who have participated in the exploitation.

  3. The Equality ModelTakes a 3 pronged approach:
    1. Criminalize demand, recognizing the power imbalance between seller and buyer. Demand drives the prostitution market.  Seller not criminalized.
    2. Provide exit services to prostituted individuals so they can exit
    3. Educate law enforcement and the public

Additional Resources:

PowerPoint Presentation:   Download Here

Resources from Defend Dignity:

Defend Dignity's Webpage:

Defend Dignity’s Brief to the Justice Committee on PCEPA Review
Download PDF Here

Defend Dignity’s Protect Canada’s Prostitution Laws

Defend Dignity’s Guide to Meet Your MP
Download PDF Here

Laws and Statistics:

PCEPA – Criminal Code

Palermo Protocol

StatsCan Juristat on PCEPA

2014 Justice Committee Hearings on Bill C-36


The Cases of the Reasonable Hypothetical Sex Worker


Bedford Challenge - Prostitution laws struck down by Ont. Court”, September 28, 2010

“Sex Work as Work”, September 30, 2018

Documents and Research:

Swedish Model - “Speaking of Prostitution: Arguments / Counter-Arguments About Prostitution”
Download PDF Here

Shifting the Burden of Criminality : An Analysis of the Irish sex trade in the Context of Prostitution Law Reform

Download PDF Here

10 Reasons to Oppose Full Decriminalization of Prostitution (NCOSE)
Download PDF Here

Discouraging the Demand that Fosters Trafficking for the Purposes of Sexual Exploitation (OSCE)