Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, acknowledges prostitution and its tendency to exploit young girls and women. Thus, it seeks to offer protection to vulnerable communities from the dangers associated with it, while also lessening the demand for prostitution and its prevalence. In effect, it has criminalized prostitution.
Soliciting a prostitute in Canadian case law requires three streps: firstly, the delivery of sexual services; secondly, the arbitrary nature of the act of soliciting; finally, the transactional nature of the exchange, which necessitates a payment.
There are multiple offences associated with this bill: purchasing, advertising, material benefit, procuring, and communicating. There are also multiple trafficking in persons offences.
The purchasing offence pertains to the obtaining of sexual services; the advertising offence to the advertisement of sexual services; the material benefit offence to the obtainment of a material benefit from the selling of sexual services; the procuring offence to the obtaining of a person to provide sexual services, or the facilitation of purchasing sexual services with control over the person providing these services. In all cases, the person directly engaged in providing sexual services is exempt from criminal liability; however, the person actively involved in the prostitution of others may face a mandatory minimum penalty ranging 18 months to 5 years, and up to 14 years imprisonment or more depending on the age of the victim.
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