Bill C-36 Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act
Bill C-36 was implemented in Canada on December 6, 2014. Before this Bill, prostitution was a criminalized act in Canada. Bill C-36 decriminalized prostitution, instead treating prostitution as a form of sexual exploitation instead of a criminal offence in need of punishment.
Bill C-36 is a critical first step in changing how prostitution is addressed in Canada, in law, in policy, and public attitude. The proposed law has the following objectives:
- Reducing the demand for sexual services
- Protecting those who sell their sexual services from exploitation
- Protecting communities from the harms caused by prostitution.
Bill C-36 begins to recognize the multiple challenges that prostituted people experience and their vulnerability to exploitation.
On November 25, 2005, Bill C-49 (an act to amend the Criminal Code – trafficking in persons) came into effect. It created three trafficking-specific Criminal code offences: trafficking in persons, material benefit, and withholding or destroying documents.