Sex Workers

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sex Workers Rights Are Human Rights

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.
CP

Tories' Prostitution Law A Mess That's Destined To Fail

Pity poor Peter MacKay. He looks like he's having about as much fun rewriting Canada's prostitution laws as he would be having if he had to perform a root canal on himself using nothing but a crochet needle and a compact mirror. Who could blame him? Trying to find the right law to reflect current attitudes on prostitution isn't exactly easy. The odds are good that Canada's prostitution laws will be back before the country's highest courts soon enough. Why? Because the new legislation fails to address the fundamental problems that caused Canada's prostitution laws to be challenged and struck down in the first place.

Your "Feelings" About Sex Work Shouldn't Be Laws

Is sex work inherently and irredeemably wicked, as the abolitionsts would have us conclude? Or is it in fact possible to have a morally defensible prostitution? A testing of public values alone will not answer these questions, assuming they are even answerable. Values are an important and necessary starting point for a discussion of public policy, to be sure, but they are only one element of policy. Given that vulnerable lives are going to be affected, the feds are going to need to come up with a solid policy that has something more beneath it than our deeply-held touchy feelies.
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Canada's Sex Work Laws: Don't Break What We Worked So Hard to Fix

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.
Getty

Stop Judging Sex Workers and Start Protecting Them

It's very simple, really. Legalizing prostitution does not mean we're normalizing it or even necessarily condoning it (for those "what has the world come to?" folks), but simply regulating it. Criminalizing sex work (and the related actions required to engage in it) has never eradicated prostitution and it never will. That's just wishful thinking. But better regulation ultimately establishes the conditions for increased protection of sex workers, and isn't that what it's all about? If legislation has the power to prevent or even simply decrease the odds of one less sex worker from being abused or killed, then what are we sitting around discussing?
Getty

5 Reasons Criminalizing Sex Worker Clients Doesn't Work

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.
Alamy

Watching the Watchdog: No Bad Whores, Only Bad Laws

A few years back I had an affair with a friend who'd been one of Toronto's most exclusive and expensive whores. To her, prostitution was a job pretty much like any other. She wrote: "Like any other whore I've ever known, I have two lives. One life earns all this money for being available for men and women who want -- and can afford to pay -- for the pleasure of my company. It's the other life, my personal life, that's my real life. The life where I win and lose, behave well or badly, am happy or sad. The part of my life where there's real meaning. ... When I'm working there's nothing womanly involved. Just business. "
PA

Sex Workers Deserve Our Day in Court

The government has again appealed the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision that current sex worker laws go against constitutional rights. On October 25, the Supreme Court of Canada will decide whether they will hear their appeal or not. Ultimately, it is my hope that the SCC agrees to hear the case in its entirety, for a number of reasons. Sex work is a highly contentious issue, but it is a legimate profession that one can freely choose if so inclined. We Canadians all have a right to life, liberty, and security of the person, even those of us involved in sex work -- and no government laws may infringe on those rights. That's exactly what this challenge is all about.
Alamy

Safe Drugs -- But Not Safe Sex?

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recently announced that the federal government would no longer offer work visas to immigrants applying for positions in the sex trade. While this is certainly a step in the right direction in terms of moderating the oldest profession in the world, it's not enough.

Saturday Round Up: The Week that Wasn't

Two major government budgets were released this week, by Ontario and the Feds respectively; as widely anticipated, both will balance spending and eliminate debt by the end of the year with no cuts to any social services. Critics from the left and right applauded the leaders for showing such fiscal responsibility while managing to balance the needs of all Canadian citizens. Asked how he expected to deal with the looming crisis with old age pensions, Prime Minister Harper noted that the budget called for the phasing out of seniors beginning in 2016... Okay, now that I've got my April Fool's joke out of the way, let's look back upon the messy conflagration of human events that constitutes last week's news highlights here at Huffpost.