Authors: Sandra Ka Hon Chu and Rebecca Glass

Sex Work Law Reform in Canada: Considering Problems with the Nordic Model

Alberta Law Review (2013) 51:1. [Canada, Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA)]


The Nordic model is a piece of legislation, passed in Sweden in 1999, which criminalizes the purchase of sex. In Canada, exchanging sex for money is not illegal, but virtually every activity associated with prostitution is. Following the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in Bedford v. Canada, the question of what type of legislation is most appropriate with respect to prostitution has become even more important. This article begins by evaluating the degree of success (or lack thereof) of the Nordic model. The article then goes on to determine whether legislation similar to the Nordic model would be constitutional if adopted in Canada.

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