OTTAWA - The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) is urging Canadian Christians to accept the Government of Canada's invitation to participate in an online "Public Consultation on Prostitution-Related Offences in Canada" to give input into the reform of Canada's prostitution laws.
"The EFC often encourages Christians to contact their MPs to express their views on important issues of justice and compassion in Canada," says Bruce J. Clemenger, president of the EFC. "But rarely are we sent an invitation from the government to offer direct input on an issue as crucial as helping women and youth trapped in prostitution in Canada."
"The online consultation form is straightforward with six important questions," notes Clemenger. The EFC has compiled resources, including our own response to the consultation questions, for Canadian Christians to use as a resource when formulating their responses. The EFC's rationale and recommendations for prostitution law reform in Canada can be found in the EFC resource page, with detailed analysis and recommendations in our report Out of Business: Prostitution in Canada - Putting an End to Demand and in a collection of articles from Faith Today, the national magazine published by the EFC.
"There are three primary groups of people engaging in the process of prostitution law reform," says Clemenger. "There is a vocal group of people who support legal unencumbered prostitution. There is a group who endorse a concept called "prohibition," who would like to see the purchase, sale and all activities surrounding prostitution as criminal acts. And, there is the third group - into which the EFC falls - called abolitionists."
The abolitionist group proposes implementing a form of law that criminalizes the purchase of sex (those with the money exert the power), the management of the sex industry (those making big money exert big, often abusive power) and not criminalizing those who are being sold, as they are most often vulnerable and there without choice.
"The EFC invites Christians to accept this unique opportunity to contribute to the development of legislation that will have a profound impact on some of our nation's most vulnerable individuals, and help shape Canadian society's understanding of the dignity and value of Canadian women and girls for generations to come, " says Clemenger.
The public consultation closes on Monday, March 17. The online form containing six questions can be found at the Federal Government's consultation website.