Vice Squad
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Reducing Harms of Teen Streetwalking Through Decriminalisation?

Adult prostitution per se is legal in Canada, though streetwalking is not legal. (And of course, the sexual exploitation of children and youths under 18 is prohibited.) A youth-issues advisory body to the Quebec government has issued a call, however, for the decriminalisation of streetwalking as a method of improving the living conditions for young adult prostitutes. The current criminalisation of streetwalking pushes that activity into areas with less police presence, saddles young prostitutes with criminal records, and also promotes a bad relationship (or worse) between prostitutes and the police. The report, by the Conseil permanent de la jeunesse, is available here, in pdf format and en francais.

My own state of Illinois is taking a different tack-- the state house and senate are considering sealing the criminal records of those "convicted of some less-serious felonies such as drug possession and prostitution..." How did these activities ever become felonies?

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