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sex work

Two Toronto non-profits are teaming up for a relief fund.
“Hustlers gets a hashtag while strippers get shadowbans.”
My story of navigating sex worker stigma in society's most conservative profession.
The stigma is unwarranted and destructive, Canadian sex workers say.
The ongoing prohibition against sex work in this country compromises the overall safety, security, autonomy and dignity of sex workers.
In 2017, sex workers in Canada continue to live and work in unsafe conditions, face predatory and state violence, immigration raids, deportation, surveillance and arrest as well as see their human rights violated. Meaningful sex work law reform in Canada is long due.
"OK Justin, if it’s a priority, where's the trans woman in your party? Where? Maybe they don’t have one — get one. Find one."
As an Indigenous woman who is currently studying law, you are truly an inspiration. There are literally no words to describe the overwhelming feelings I have experienced over the last couple of days. But "law student" is only one of the many hats that I wear. I am also a sex work activist, who advocates for the decriminalization of sex work.
As the proliferation of online escort services -- gay and straight alike -- suggests, Americans engage in escort services in considerable numbers. Moralism aside, what's the actual harm? We reviewed the available scientific evidence on HIV, other health issues, violence and human rights among sex workers, including among male sex workers -- and gained invaluable insights into the power of decriminalization to reduce harm.
Following over two years of consultations with sex workers and human rights experts in member countries globally, a leading human rights organization, Amnesty International, put forward a draft policy in support of decriminalization of sex work as critical to ensuring the human rights of all citizens. The policy recognizes decriminalization as a key measure for protecting the human rights of sex workers globally and will be discussed and voted on at the International Council Meeting to be held later this week in Dublin, Ireland.
What's going on in Libya is not trafficking, but a large-scale effort to smuggle migrants into Europe by men who are often greedy and unscrupulous. In the vast majority of cases, they are smuggling these migrants at their own request. A similar confusion with nomenclature applies to the debate over sex trafficking. There's a problem with calling something by the wrong name.
In the age of easily accessible online porn, strip clubs just aren’t the draw they once were, and now an industry insider
MP Joy Smith's December 10 editorial declares it "appalling" that 25 members of Toronto City Council asked Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to refer the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act to the Ontario Court of Appeal. In imposing her preferred frame of "survivors of prostitution" versus "pimps and johns," she fails to address the crucial point of the councillors' letter.
It's appalling that 25 Toronto Councillors have jointly sent a letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, asking her to refer Bill C-36 to the Ontario Court of Appeal. Even more shocking, these councillors are requesting that the premier actually direct police officers to not uphold the law that was just passed by the federal government. The letter from the councillors cites the concern that Bill C-36 will be "dangerous for sex workers" and "will recreate harms that previously existed under the old laws." Their evidence of this -- well they talk about experts, but provide no actual documentation.
The government has presented Bill C-36, what Justice Minister Peter MacKay calls the "Canadian model." Like the failed Nordic model, this made-in-Canada approach criminalizes the clients of sex workers, while ostensibly trying to convince sex workers to stop commodifying their bodies in a hopeless attempt to end the sex trade. But the Canadian model goes much further, blatantly disregarding the Supreme Court decision as well as studies showing the policing of purchasers puts the same pressures on sex workers, impeding them from screening clients, negotiating transactions, working in safe areas, and accessing police protections.
Canada's profoundly misguided approach to prostitution and treatment of prostitutes changed on June 4, 2014, with the introduction of Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act. By making prostitution illegal for the first time in Canadian history, the impact of the new prohibitions will be borne by those who purchase sex and persons who exploit others through prostitution rather than vulnerable individuals.
The Government released a report on its consultations regarding Parliament's response to the Supreme Court decision last December striking down several prostitution-related offences in the Criminal Code. Regrettably, the information made available about the consultations raises more questions than it answers, and leads one to query whether an informed debate will occur.
Creating laws that are overly broad and ineffective will just push sex work back into the shadows, and will continue to make it less safe for all those involved. Sex work can be safe, clean, and beneficial to those of us who choose it as a career. It can be conducted ethically, honestly, and freely, with the full consent of all participants. It can be done right, in the privacy of our own homes, without exploitation; we just need to ensure that governments do not restrict our right to choose what we do with our own bodies.
As the Supreme Court of Canada begins deliberating the fate of the existing laws restricting sex work, it is vital to examine the suggested alternatives, and expose their weaknesses, before public opinion embraces them without knowing their true consequences. Though it purports itself to be a policy that protects and respects women, the "abolitionist approach" is nothing more than a ruse, and does nothing at all to help those of us who participate in the sex industry.
Self-described abolitionists have no idea how insulting and condescending it is for us to be told we're incapable of making our own choices. One of the principle tenets of feminism is that women should have the right to make our own choices with our own bodies.