TORONTO - The Supreme Court of Canada is willing to take a look at the country's main laws controlling prostitution.
The top court said today it will hear a government appeal of a ruling striking down the ban on brothels.
Ontario's top court had ruled the ban on bawdy houses increased the dangers prostitutes face because it forces them to work outside.
The Ontario court also upheld a ban on soliciting and reworded the law against living on the avails of prostitution.
The Supreme Court will also hear a cross-appeal by sex-trade workers on the soliciting ban.
The top court says a stay on legalizing brothels will remain in place until it decides the case.
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Prostitution is legal in Germany, and brothels are registered businesses that do not require a separate license. In the state of Bavaria, it is mandatory to use condoms. <i>A German prostitute's self-portrait in a brothel, 1999.</i>
In the Netherlands, prostitution is legal, as are brothels. Because of the size of the industry, the government has attempted to scale it back in recent years, and a law has been proposed to ban women under the age of 21 from the business. <i>Red Light Bar in Amsterdam</i> (Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensutherland/" target="_hplink">Flickr/Ben Sutherland</a>)
Thanks to the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, prostitution, owning a brothel and street solicitation are legal in New Zealand, though coercion remains illegal. The law still causes controversy today, with certain parties attempting to overturn it. (Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/flissphil/" target="_hplink">Flickr/PhillipC</a>)
Nevada is the only place in the United States where prostitution is legal, in the form of brothels (though prostitution outside these businesses is illegal). The brothels are located in isolated rural areas, and employees work as independent contractors, therefore not receiving any health or insurance benefits. (Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bludgeoner86/" target="_hplink">Flickr/Bludgeoner86</a>)
In Argentina, prostitution is legal, but operating a business like a brothel based on the industry is illegal. (Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tempus7/" target="_hplink">Flickr/quimpg</a>)
Like Argentina, prostitution is legal in France, but associated industries are not. In addition, paying for sex with someone under the age of 18 is illegal. (Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/grantmatthews/" target="_hplink">Flickr/idreamofdaylight</a>)
In Singapore, prostitution is legal, but activities like brothels and organized prostitution is not. Workers in brothels carry health cards and receive regular check-ups. (Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/azwegers/" target="_hplink">Flickr/Arian Zwegers</a>)
In Japan, prostitution is technically illegal, but many have found legal loopholes that allow for certain acts -- specifically, anything outside of coitus. (Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/loiclemeur/" target="_hplink">Flickr/loiclemeur</a>)
Prostitution is legal in Greece, and workers have personal licenses, as well as health cards that are checked often. Brothels, however, are not legal, and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/20/prostitutes-in-greece-dem_n_429722.html" target="_hplink">have caused many demonstrations</a> within the country. (Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/85211939@N00/" target="_hplink">Flickr/DoctorWho</a>)