Vancouver's Emancipation Proclamation

March 26, 2009

Signed by Kerry Jang on Behalf of Mayor Gregor Robertson On March 26th, 2009.

I acknowledge the suffering of girls, youth and women who have been prostituted, reduced to sex slavery by the power of men to buy sex.

I believe prostitution and sex slavery are the same thing, and commit to work for emancipation.

I see how the violence of sex slavery has taken a particularly vicious toll on the lives and well being of Aboriginal girls, youth and women and those trafficked into Vancouver from Pacific Rim countries.

I recognize that all levels government in Canada have obligations under our international treaties to end this, and I commit myself to working with you to make emancipation from sex slavery a reality.

I commit to work with you to ensure we together secure the support from all levels of government to create the secure transitional housing girls, youth and women need to exit prostitution and prevent recruitment into prostitution.

I commit to work with you for amendments to the Criminal Code to outlaw the power to buy sex, following the Nordic model of law and social policy.

I commit to work with you to ensure the City's resources, including our police services and licensing systems, always advance the emancipation for the victims of sex slavery, and stop those who would traffic them.

I commit to work with you to make Vancouver the global leader in emancipation by 2015, learning from Stockholm and other cities using the Nordic approach how to protect and advance the human dignity of girls, youth and women.