HOUSE OF COMMONS
Libby Davies, M.P.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Canada's Justice System Has Failed B.C.'s Missing Women, Says Libby Davies
OTTAWA New Democrat Social Policy Critic Libby Davies is demanding a public inquiry into the policing and enforcement of federal laws around the missing women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
"The tragedy of the 63 missing women and 15 murder charges raises deeply disturbing questions about Canada's justice system and how it failed these women," says Davies. "And there are still many more at risk."
The failure of police to follow up on complaints about the women, some of which date back to the 1980s, is a key factor in why so many women disappeared, says Davies.
"Basically, as a society we treat these people as disposable garbage and that is why we have 63 women who are missing."
Current laws around prostitution are making street level sex workers vulnerable to selective enforcement laws, as well as exploitation and violence. Most prostitutes are often poor and drug dependent, and are reluctant to seek protection under the law.
Cuts in social spending have also left these women by the wayside. Services such as counselling, outreach, education and school-based prevention programs are not readily available. As a result, these women are finding it increasingly difficult to find a safe haven.
The NDP wants the Minister responsible for the Status of Women, along with the Justice Minister, to stand up and take action. They can do this by ensuring there is a full inquiry into why the Canadian justice system has failed to protect women at risk.
For more information, please contact:
Created: October 8, 2002
Last modified: October 8, 2002
Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710