Prostitution involves one person engaging in sexual acts for money. In some countries, states, cities and regions of the world, such as the Netherlands, prostitution is legal. Some countries, such as Canada, allow certain forms of prostitution. Although Canadian law hasn’t always found certain types of prostitution to be legal, a decision by the Ontario Court of Appeals in March 2012 will make it possible for people to operate prostitution agencies and brothels in Toronto and other parts of the country. Although Canadian citizens can own brothels, the Toronto escorts and the owners need to adhere to certain national laws on prostitution.
Starting in 2013, people will be allowed to own escort agencies, brothels and “bawdy houses” in Canada, but the Toronto escorts working within their businesses have to be at least 18 years old. Anyone who owns a prostitution establishment with sex workers under 18 years old could face imprisonment under section 212(2) of Canadian federal law. Owners will need to make sure that sexual acts take place inside the brothels when changes to Canadian federal law take effect in 2013. Under the new law, prostitution is only allowed within the confines of organized indoor establishments. Once prostitution becomes legal, people can operate brothels in any province or city in Canada.
Although Canadian law will allow brothels and prostitution agencies, it will not allow people to serve as pimps. If a person actively seeks out prostitutes and promises them certain protections, such as physical protection, for monetary compensation, he could be considered a “pimp” under Canadian law. If someone operated a brothel, he could be convicted of breaking Canadian law if he engaged in certain acts, such as physically harming prostitutes or getting sex workers to recruit for him, while running the establishment. The new Canadian law will allow prostitutes to hire bodyguards or security to protect them. Owners could hire someone to protect the women or men who work within their brothels or escort agencies.
According to Canadian law, all sexual acts and forms of propositioning need to take place inside the confines of brothels. Although a person will be able to run a brothel, he will need to make sure that the prostitutes who work within the confines of the brothel don’t solicit prostitution on the streets. The owner of the brothel and/or the sex worker would be breaking Canada’s solicitation law, put in place in 1972, if a prostitute tries to sell sexual favors in public spaces, such as on public sidewalks or street corners.