Buying Sex not a sport: Sex work activists

For Metro Vancouver

Trisha Baptie, a former sex-trade worker, speaks on human trafficking Friday night at the International Film Centre on Seymour Street.
Trisha Baptie, a former sex-trade worker, speaks on human trafficking Friday night at the International Film Centre on Seymour Street.

Buying sex is not a sport, says a group of activists campaigning to get Ottawa to change the country’s sex laws before the 2010 Olympics, to keep more women from being lured into prostitution.

Michelle Miller, executive director of Resist Exploitation, Embrace Dignity, said Parliament should enact the same laws recently instituted in Sweden that decriminalize the selling of sex and criminalize the buying of sex.

“No one looks at the buyers,” she said. “Women are bought and sold but we want to expose that men have contributed to the demand.”

Miller said the increase in men away from their social networks would raise the demand for paid sex in Vancouver during the Games.

“We’ve seen this at the World Cup, the Superbowl, so it’s known. Men who travel enjoy the degree of anonymity and are more likely to buy sex,” she said.

Trisha Baptie is a former sex-trade worker who took to the streets when she was 13 years old.

“It’s human slavery. There are women in brothels in Vancouver right now, and more will come before the Games,” she said.

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