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Canada's highest court strikes down anti-prostitution laws

Terri-Jean Bedford, center, makes a victory sign during a press conference in Toronto on Monday, March 26, 2012 with Nikki Thomas, left, and Valerie Scott, right, after the Ontario's Court of Appeal struck down a ban on brothels, saying a ban on brothels puts prostitutes at risk and is unconstitutional.
AP
Terri-Jean Bedford, center, makes a victory sign during a press conference in Toronto on Monday, March 26, 2012 with Nikki Thomas, left, and Valerie Scott, right, after the Ontario's Court of Appeal struck down a ban on brothels, saying a ban on brothels puts prostitutes at risk and is unconstitutional.

Canada's highest court has struck down the country's prostitution laws in their entirety in a unanimous 9-0 ruling.

The high court on Friday struck down all three prostitution-related laws: against keeping a brothel, living on the avails of prostitution, and street soliciting.

The ruling is a victory for sex workers seeking safer working conditions because it found that the laws violated the charter guarantee to life, liberty and security of the person.

(Read more: Dutch prostitutes demand same pension perks as footballers)

But the Supreme Court of Canada decision also gives Parliament a one-year reprieve to respond with new legislation.

Ontario's Appeal Court previously struck down the ban on brothels on the grounds it exposed women to more danger.

Friday's landmark ruling comes 34 years after the Supreme Court last upheld the country's anti-prostitution laws.

—By The Associated Press


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