Thursday, November 18, 1999

Alberta prostitution law challenged

ALBERTA — A law that's designed to help teen-aged prostitutes is being challenged in Alberta. Lawyers representing two girls, who were forcibly taken off the streets, say the law is unconstitutional.

The two 17 year old girls were taken by police to a so-called "safe house." At the house, girls are given counselling and a warm bed, but no freedom, for up to three days.

The girls' lawyers say the law denies basic charter rights. They argued that not only were the girls arbitrarily locked up, but under the new law, they didn't have to be told explicitly of their right to counsel or their right to remain silent.

Heather Forsythe who helped design the new law argues overriding the charter might not be a bad thing if it helps teenagers who can't help themselves.

The judge's decision on the new law is expected next month.

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Created: December 6, 2000
Last modified: January 19, 2001
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