Mr. Speaker, with forthcoming legislation on prostitution, Canada must tackle this issue with the clear understanding that prostituted individuals are not criminals. More of them are young women and children. Canada's goal should be to end the violent institution of prostitution in Canada, and not to legalize it.
Front-line Canadian organizations that have worked with trafficked victims have requested a made-in-Canada response that targets pimps and johns with stiff criminal sanctions, and provides rehabilitation and assistance instead of arrest for prostituted women.
Last week, former U.S. president Carter, having recently written a book about the global epidemic of violence against women and girls, wrote to Canadian parliamentarians, urging Canada to recognize the violence that prostitution causes to women, and to take this opportunity to ensure that Canada's future laws focus on preserving human rights.
I am confident that our government will do exactly that.