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Nearly all law enforcement of the anti-prostitution laws concerns the people involved in street prostitution, with the other forms of prostitution being virtually ignored. The enforcement generally focuses on the prostitutes, and not on their customers.
Consequently, it has become the target of criticism that, while designed to prevent public nuisance, it ignores public safety. In practice, the communication law has not altered the extent of street-based sex work, but merely displaced it, often to more dangerous locations.
The murder of a large number of women working in the sex trade, a disproportionate number of whom were aboriginal. “Body rub parlours” may be establishments in which sex work takes place, which would be illegal under bawdy house and communicating laws.
In spite of its illegality, Toronto escorts prostitution exists throughout the United States from both independent prostitutes and those employed through escort agencies. Both freelancers and agencies may advertise under the term “bodywork” in the back of alternative newspapers, although some of these bodywork professionals are straightforward massage professionals.
Some of the differences have been due to political factors. Pre-colonial “prostitution” among Aboriginal peoples is not considered here, since it bore little resemblance to contemporary understanding of the term.
Child prostitution is illegal, but there are community concerns that it is a growing problem related to homelessness. While expansive claims have been made as to its extent, expert reports conclude that such estimates cannot be relied upon.
Most child-prostitutes do not work on the streets, but behind closed doors: “You can’t have children standing on the corner because they will be spotted immediately. So what pimps and recruiters do is keep them off-street,” said Raven Bowen, from Vancouver.
Most public opinion polls, which were first introduced in 1984, demonstrate a lack of understanding of the law, which could influence responses. The polls have also been frequently cited misleadingly.